It’s relatively quiet at church today. The teachers are in Palm Coast for the final day of the fall teachers conference. That means no school. It also means we were able to get our parking lot sealed and restriped. Doing this periodically helps extend the life of the parking lot. A big THANK YOU to the donor who enable this to happen. Also, we hope to have our bent Wymore Road sign fixed in the near future. (It was bent from Hurricane Irma.)
Tomorrow, Alexandra Norling and Jeremy Davignon will pledge their love and faithfulness to one another in marriage. We pray for their well-being and that God would bless their sacred union. Congratulations!
Next weekend we celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation. October 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed 95 Theses to the Castle Church doors in Wittenberg. This set in motion what would be known as the Reformation of the Church.
For our purposes, we will celebrate in four ways:
- Saturday, October 28, there will be a special circuit/community event at our sister congregation, Risen Savior Lutheran Church, at 2 pm.
- Sunday, October 29, our Sunday school and ACTs group will present a special Luther play during the Sunday school hour, 9 am.
- Sunday, October 29, we will have a special Reformation 500 Anniversary service, 10 am.
- Finally, after the service, we will have a special “Lunch and Luther” event. Lunch will be provided and we’ll watch the 2003 Luther movie.
That’s this week’s news. Now here’s today’s devotion:
Dismiss the Old Habits
You must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God.
Talk to any individuals who have finished doing time in prison, and they will tell you that prison does not immediately leave you as soon as you walk out the gate. For many there is a tension that remains, a defensiveness, a sense of suspicion and unease. You don’t just turn that off the moment you breathe your first breath of freedom.
As Christians, you and I find ourselves in a curious situation. It’s obvious we still live in a world that is fallen, broken and dark because of sin. And yet, through faith in Jesus, God has rescued us from that prison and brought us into the light of his forgiveness. In Jesus you and I are now free. We are at peace. We are secure. We have nothing to fear.
But old habits die hard. Old habits die hard because they’re so familiar, even comfortable. And so it’s easy for me to keep on worrying. It’s easy for me to feel lonely. It’s easy for me to give in to fear. It’s easy for me to think that I’m not in the arms of a God who loves me.
But those old habits don’t fit the new reality in my life. They don’t fit yours, either. Because of Jesus, the dark days are over. Forgiveness has arrived. Freedom is here. The reasons to be afraid are gone. The more we breathe that in, the more the Holy Spirit will empower us to dismiss our old habits.
Forgive me, Lord, for all the times I have given in to my old ways of thinking. Wash me clean. Empower me by your gospel to put my old habits to rest. Amen.