Good morning: Weekday mornings I’m in the habit of watching the TV news with breakfast. There are the usual segments updating the number of COVID cases around the country. I can count on hearing the latest political rumors from Washington, along with reports on the new storms developing over the Rockies and the danger they pose to millions of people in their path. For the most part it’s 30 minutes of discouraging news interrupted by a few commercial breaks. It leaves one feeling empty and ready to crawl back into bed. However, after the rundown of the news, there is the “morning boost,” a quick story about a humorous moment in sports or a heartwarming video of a soldier returning home to his family. It’s uplifting and brings a smile, but only for a moment. It’s not nearly enough to outweigh all the other sadness and suffering. Problems aren’t new. David writes, “For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me” (Ps. 40:12). The troubles of life are not confined to TV sound bites. They are personal to each of us. They come into our homes and are in our hearts because of sin. If you want a true “morning boost,” don’t look to TV news or to what’s trending online. Open your Bible to God’s news. The real comfort and joy of Christmas does not lie in how beautiful our decorations look or how well our family gatherings come together, but in all that God has done for us in His love. He sent His Son to live on the trouble-filled earth to give us righteousness in place of guilt, joy in place of mourning, hope to displace despair, and life instead of death. The Lord says of those who trust in Him: “Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Is. 35:10). Rather than mope and grumble about the sad state of the world, let’s look to the Savior born to be our morning boost every day. Yours in Him, Pastor Service times tomorrow are 8:00 and 10:45 a.m. Christmas Eve rehearsal is at 9:30 a.m. The public school confirmation class meets at 12:00 p.m. Idol trouble? When we hear of idols we may think of the golden calf which Israel worshiped or one of the many heathen statues worshiped by millions today. But in the Large Catechism Martin Luther points out that we have a problem with idols too. Tomorrow’s Bible class will continue the discussion of the First Commandment. Call received: This past Thursday I received a call to serve Living Savior Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, MN. Your prayers are requested and your comments are always welcome as I consider this divine call. 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.