Good morning:

How does today look? What about next week? What are your expectations for the rest of the year? Will every day be sunshine and 70s, COVID-free, and filled with fun times and interesting experiences? Of course not. We know expectations like that are completely unrealistic. Life in this sinful world is never perfect.

Now what about your expectations for life as a child of God? Are they realistic? Jesus’ disciples fully expected Him to inaugurate a glorious earthly rule in which they would enjoy the perks of being His followers. More than once they argued among themselves over who would be the greatest in the kingdom. Their expectations were not at all in line with the Lord’s will, for His kingdom is not of this world. Today too some are unrealistic about discipleship. Some believe that confessing Christ will mean earthly prosperity, more friends, and just generally, an easier life. When that doesn’t happen, they become disillusioned and unhappy with the Lord, as though He had let them down.

I think all of us have thought that at times. We lay out expectations based on our own plans and desires, and imagine that the Lord will follow through in granting them. Why wouldn’t He? We know He loves us and has called us into His kingdom through the miracle of baptism. He wants only the best for us. Why wouldn’t He grant all we expect?

When high expectations don’t become reality, we may feel disappointed, as though the Lord isn’t being as gracious and generous as He should be. But the truth is that when we feel disappointed, it’s not because our expectations were too high, but rather much too low. Often we limit expectations to the things of this earth: money, possessions, health, friends, and other blessings which make the moment more pleasant. But the Lord wants us to enjoy good things not just today, but for all eternity. That means, at times, withholding some earthly things and having us endure difficulties, so that we stay close to Him in faith and keep our hearts centered on the blessings which have eternal value: forgiveness, peace with God, and anticipation of the glory to come.

When it comes to expectations, let’s get real. We are not going to have trouble-free days, but we can expect far better things, the blessings of the Lord in every situation of life. “ ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11).

In Christ’s name,

Pastor

Tomorrow’s services are at 8:00 and 9:30 a.m. Here is the link for signing up: https://tinyurl.com/y2j5r8sn

The public school confirmation class will meet after second service.

Face coverings: Wisconsin requires face coverings at all indoor gatherings for everyone five years old and older, so remember to bring yours along. Disposable masks are available for those who need one.
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