Good morning: Have you ever dreamed of playing in the NFL or being chosen for the cast of a major motion picture? Why weren’t you drafted by your favorite team or chosen for an audition in Hollywood? Why were others chosen and not you? It’s not a mystery. Gifts and talents were seen in others which we don’t have. Likewise, why were you offered the job you have and others were not? How did it happen that you were accepted into the university program and some received rejection letters? Again, there were things people saw in you and not in other applicants. That’s how the world works. Many think God works the same way. They assume that He must see something noteworthy in those whom He brings into His kingdom. There must be some trait or quality which sets God’s children apart from others and moves God to want them as His own. It’s an ego boost to imagine that God recognized at least a little something which makes us unique. The truth, though, is that there is no difference among people by nature. “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). All our imagined virtue is like filthy rags before God. It is not at all what God sees in us which moved Him to make us His sons and daughters. Instead, it is something in God Himself. He loves us for His love’s sake, not for anything in us. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us. What we think, do, and say would be reason for Him not to love us. Yet His love still reaches out to embrace us and hold us close to Him. His love moved Him to send His Son to take our place under the condemnation of His holy law. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10). What does God see in us? He sees sin inherited from Adam. He sees our failures to love Him above all and to love our neighbor as ourselves. But that’s not all. He also sees our sins paid for in full. He hears the Son’s cry, “It is finished!” He sees us clothed head-to-toe in Christ’s righteousness, and He pronounces us His beloved children with whom He couldn’t be more pleased. May He give us eyes of faith to see what He sees! Yours in Christ, Pastor Services tomorrow are at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. The children will sing in first service, and Sunday school teachers will be installed. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated in both services. Sunday school is at 9:15 a.m. Adult Bible class begins at 9:30 a.m. We will continue the study of Luther’s Large Catechism which we began last year. The Catechism is a great tool to use in reinforcing the fundamental truths of Scripture upon which our faith is based. You’re never too old or too knowledgeable to receive spiritual encouragement from the Catechism. Why not make plans to join in the study and discussion tomorrow?