Good morning:

You forgot a family birthday. You didn’t feel like doing homework. You blurted out some nasty, angry words. Your thoughts toward coworkers were anything but kind. What comes next? Do you try to cover up the sin with an excuse? Fault someone else or blame the circumstances? That’s human nature, going all the way back to Adam and Eve in the garden.

How does that work out for you? Try as we might, efforts at deflecting blame or trying to bury it out of sight don’t work. David wrote, “When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long...My strength was sapped as in the heat of summer” (Ps. 32:3-4). David longed for relief from his guilt. Covering up sin becomes harder the longer we attempt it.

Real relief is found in repentance. To repent means literally, “to change one’s mind.” It’s a turning away from excusing sin to confessing it. But why confess sin when we know it deserves the punishment of eternal death? We would never do that by nature. But not only does the Holy Spirit communicate God’s law, he also assures the repentant sinner of free and full pardon for sin in Christ. The apostle Peter warned the people in the temple that they were guilty of crucifying God’s Son. But he continued, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).

Martin Luther wrote that the entire life of the believer is to be one of repentance. We are tripped up by sin more times than we know. That will be true today as well. But we don’t have to cover it up or let it burden our hearts. Repentance includes trusting in Jesus for forgiveness. “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 Jn. 1:8-9). Thank God for the relief of repentance!
In Christ,


Our Sunday service is at 9 a.m. The choir is singing. Christmas Eve rehearsal and adult Bible class follow the service. The Bible class will be taking up questions about heaven and looking at Bible passages which are especially fitting to include in Christmas cards and greetings.
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