Good morning:

Why is it that you can be totally exhausted at the end of a busy workday or a long week of dealing with life’s little crises, and yet still find plenty of energy to spend hours with a favorite hobby or to tackle a major home renovation project? It’s the difference between “have to” and “want to,” isn’t it? If we are obligated to do something, it’s hard. We count the hours and minutes till we’re done. We may do only the bare minimum to get by. When it’s finished, we’re just glad it’s over. There’s no real joy or satisfaction because our hearts aren’t in it.

Some see the Christian life like that. To them it’s all about what one “has to do,” like being kind to others, not misusing God’s name, and reading the Bible. They do these things just to get them done and avoid God’s anger. If they think they can get away with it, they cut corners and do as little as possible. Following Christ is exhausting and unsatisfying. They go through the motions without the heart being involved.

If you feel that way, read again what Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians: “You, my brothers, were called to be free.” The life of a believer is one of freedom, not obligation. Jesus set us free from the demands and burdens of keeping the law for our salvation. He fulfilled the law for us by His own holy life. He paid our unpayable debt by shouldering our sin and suffering God’s anger for it on the cross. Our record before God is now spotless. No debt remains outstanding. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).

There is nothing we “have to do” for eternal life. At the same time, there is everything we “want to do” in love for our Savior. David didn’t “have to” go to the tabernacle. Rather, he said, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD” (Ps. 122:1). We may be tired out from all the things in life that we have to do, but then look to the Spirit in the Word for a limitless supply of heartfelt thankfulness and willing desire to let the light of Jesus shine out today in everything we do. Like David, may we look forward to meeting the Lord in His house tomorrow.

Yours in Christ,
Pastor

Services tomorrow are 8:00 and 10:45 a.m.
Bible class is at 9:30 a.m. We continue our study of Luther’s Large Catechism.

Here is the link for service signup: https://tinyurl.com/y2j5r8sn
Signing up for the Sunday service by 6 p.m. Saturday is appreciated and helpful and a way of showing Christian love for one another. It gives the Elders and ushers an idea of how many people to prepare for. When you sign up you can also see how full the service will be, and if you wish, consider attending the other service. By signing up, you can easily be informed if that were advisable because of contact with someone at the service who later became ill. 

The governor’s mask order is still in effect for all indoor spaces, including churches. Masks are available in the entry if you forget yours.
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