Imagine the following situation:
A girl crushes hard on a boy – he’s so cute; he’s a star athlete in school; he’s going to college on scholarship… he is an absolute DREAM. So she asks him out on a date. “I can’t,” he says. “I have other plans that day.”Maybe it was just bad timing. It happens. So, over the next couple months she tries again (and not in a creepy, stalker-type way). Each and every time, there are other things to do that he can’t get away from. Other times, he just didn’t respond to her texts or calls at all.
What is the girl to assume, when her crush (a) never has time to see her; or (b) doesn’t even acknowledge her? What is your advice to her?
If you can see this so clearly for the girl in the above situation, do you wear blinders when you do the same? What is Christ to think when “there is always something on your schedule” that prevents you from coming into His presence and receiving His love and gifts in Word and Sacrament? Or when His calls to “do not give up meeting together” or “do this often in remembrance of Me” go unacknowledged or unanswered? What is He to think when weeks and months go by and your prayers falter and you have stayed away from the Lord’s Table?
I know: the things scheduled over the Lord’s Day are important; they always are important. Friends: sometimes things happen; sometimes life gets in the way and we cannot help but be apart from the Lord’s house due to health or emergencies. But let us be very frightened when our conscience is no longer pricked when we are away from the Lord, when the excuses come so easily to explain why we are away. And when we must be away, let us hastily return to the Lord with joy to be in His merciful and forgiving presence.
Repent, and put to death your old man and rise to newness of life, even as Paul instructs, “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus Christ from the dead is living in you, He who raised Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation – but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live” (Romans 8:11-13). Repent, for by your baptism you are God’s child. You were redeemed from death and forgiven of all your sin. Repent, and joyfully receive absolution and reconciliation with your God, who shed His blood and was raised from the dead on the third day so that you would live with Him in His kingdom forevermore. Repent, and receive His gifts, for He gives them freely and lovingly.
“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 4 These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation.” (Psalm 42:1-2, 4-5)
April 3: Lent IV – “The Waters of Life”
April 10: Lent V – “Bones”
April 14: Palm Sunday – 10:15 am – “Branches of Victory”
April 18: Maundy Thursday – 7:00 pm – “Take, and Eat”
April 19: Good Friday – “The Tree of Life”
Noon Service – 12:15 pm
Evening Service – 7:00 pm
April 20: Easter Vigil – Saturday, 5:00 pm
April 21: Easter - “Angelic Messengers”
Easter Breakfast (served by LYF), 8:30 am
Easter Service – 10:15 am