St. John’s Lutheran Church Montello & Emmanuel Lutheran Church Mecan
Updated Response to Worship Concerns Created by COVID-19
July 30, 2020
When will we worship? An outdoor Saturday service is being added to help members worship in a safe environment. This service will replace the Wednesday evening service.
● Saturdays @ 4:30 pm (Any St. John’s or Emmanuel members)-Beginning Saturday, August 15
● Sunday @ 8:00 am Emmanuel (Emmanuel members)
● Sunday @ 10:00 am St. John’s (St. John’s members 55 and older)
● Online worship services continue found at stjohnsmontello.org
Where will we worship? Groups should be 50 or less indoors. To provide safe worship experiences, the new Saturday worship service will be held outdoors when weather permits.
● Saturday @ 4:30 pm will be an outdoor service on the lawn behind the parking lot of St. John’s. In case of inclement weather, we will move to the sanctuary.
● Sunday @ 8:00 am at Emmanuel in the sanctuary
● Sunday @ 10:00 am at St. John’s in the sanctuary
How will we worship? Providing a safe worship experience is a high priority for the leaders in our congregations. Because the virus continues to spread, and because of the science regarding singing and speaking, the following policies will be continued and new ones enacted immediately:
● Please use the hand sanitizer upon arrival at the worship service.
● Masks will currently be optional at all services (see below**) Masks will be available.
● Designated seating will be provided indoors to provide for social distancing.
● Please bring lawn chairs for the outdoor service. Some seating and a canopy may be available.
● The congregation is asked to not sing for the time being.
● Services will be shortened to a length of approximately 40 minutes.
● A soloist will sing the hymns and any liturgical responses.
● Continuous communion will be practiced on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. The Saturday before the 2nd and 4th Sundays will also include communion. Family units are encouraged to commune together.
● The congregations should exit the sanctuary from the back at the end of the service, taking all belongings including the bulletin along with them.
● The sanctuary will be cleaned and sanitized between services.
● **We will abide by any state or local mandates that may change any of these policies
As we hold firmly to the truths of scripture, we know that God continues to keep his promises to us. He has promised the wonderful spiritual blessings of forgiveness, life, and salvation. He has not, however, promised that things will always remain the same. In the words of our synod president, Mark Schroeder, “we recommit ourselves–as individuals, as congregations, and as a synod–to the mission that God has called us to carry out, trusting that he will bless us in that work.” Let us work together as we move forward as a congregation. Let us help, support, and encourage each other as we gather around God’s Word.
The mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. Isaiah 55:12,13
“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands! If you’re happy and you know it, then you might as well as show it, if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!” As you read or listened to that last line, what were you picturing? Likely, you had visions of 5-year-olds going through the actions of that song. Or maybe you envisioned the nursing home activity center with patients reliving their childhood and simultaneously getting their physical therapy. Either way, I doubt you pictured what Isaiah painted in the words of our Bible reading today, “All the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
We know that God’s Word changes people. But don’t sell short the total effect of God’s Word. God’s Word doesn’t just change people. When it accomplishes its purpose, the Word changes all of creation. And that’s a good thing. Look around. Almost daily, there are news reports of natural disasters. Our communities are threatened by wildfires and floods. We walk through the woods and stumble over a rotten tree that blocks our path. It doesn’t take keen observation skills to be reminded that all of creation groans because of the effects of sin. The thorns and thistles in our gardens are a very personal reminder of sin’s effects on all creation.
But not for long. God’s Word assures us that even creation will be freed from the effect of sin. When Jesus went to the cross to pay for the sins of the world, he did just that—he paid for the sins of the world. When Jesus went to the cross, he reversed the curse of sin—even on creation. That’s how complete his victory was. So while you sing for joy, know the mountains and hills join you in your chorus.
Lord, open my eyes to see your complete victory over sin and appreciate your love not only for me but for all of creation. Amen.
When the newly engaged couple FaceTimed us to share their exciting news, they didn’t have to say a word. Nor did we have to see the rock on the bride-to-be’s finger. The smile on their faces and the sparkle in their eyes said it all. There are some joys in life that not even the best poker face can hide.
The Bible mentions many things that can bring joy: wine, perfume, a wise son, and a kind word are just a few examples. But none of those can come close to producing the joy that God’s Word brings to our hearts. When God’s Word convinces us that all is right between us and a holy God; when God’s Word convinces us that we are freely forgiven of all our sins; when God’s Word convinces us that heaven awaits, our eyes light up and our heels kick. Simply put, what God’s Word accomplishes in our lives changes us.
Not only does it change us, but it also changes those around us. Just like that newly engaged couple could not contain their good news to themselves, we also have the opportunity to go out in joy. We get to go out in joy, confident that the same Word that worked on our hearts and brought us peace will bring joy and peace to others.
Lord, as your Word fills my heart with joy and peace, may it also move my feet to go out with the good news of your Word. Amen.
“So, did you get done what you wanted to accomplish today?” That question can be like nails on a chalkboard. Even the best time managers cannot accurately plan for the distractions in the office, the surprise phone call, or the migraine headache. Do you ever find yourself frustrated with unchecked boxes on a to-do list? Sometimes, there just aren’t enough hours in a day.
Now imagine what life would be like if that never happened to you. Imagine how productive you would feel. Imagine how content you would be with your calendar and your workload. I have to admit, I’m a little jealous of God, when he says, “My word will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Almost sarcastically, I want to say, “Good for you, God!”
But that sarcasm quickly wanes when I realize the object of God’s desires and purposes. It’s you. God wants you to be saved. God wants you to come to a knowledge of the truth. God wants to lead you to his heavenly home. God wants to comfort you. God’s desires are all about you. And God’s Word accomplishes everything God desires. God’s Word checks off every box for you. Now, instead of sarcastically, you can gratefully and humbly say, “Good for you, God!” And good for God means good for you.
Lord, as I face the stress of deadlines and a full calendar, help me to cherish that you achieve every purpose of your word. Amen
As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. Isaiah 55:10,11
“That’s just what I needed,” says your buddy after you meet him for happy hour after a long day of work. “It’s exactly what I needed,” exclaims your mother after opening your thoughtful birthday gift. “Just What I Needed,” is not just a hit song from the 1970s, it’s also God’s promise regarding his Word to you.
It is somewhat subtle in our bible passage for today but notes the appropriateness of what God’s Word accomplishes. “It yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,” not seed for the eater or bread for the sower. God’s Word appropriately provides. God’s Word always gives us what we need.
So the question naturally becomes, “What do you need today?” Not, “What do you want?” But, “What do you need?” Go ahead. Write five current needs on a piece of paper in front of you or on the notepad of your mind. Now write five needs you’ll need six months from now. A year from now. Five years from now.
Could you do it? As our circumstances change, so do our needs. If I would have asked you in February what your needs would be six months later, I doubt any of us could have guessed what our needs would be in this pandemic. I still don’t know what I need. But God does. Not only does he know your needs, he knows how and when to address them. Just because you may be an adult who provides for others’ needs, don’t lose the comfort and promise of having a God who promises to provide appropriately for your needs. You’re never too old to sing, “I am Jesus’ little lamb; ever glad at heart I am, for my shepherd gently guides me, knows my needs and well provides me” (Christian Worship: A Lutheran Hymnal – 469).
Lord, calm my heart as your Word assures me that you will give what I need when I need it. Amen.
As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. Isaiah 55:10,11
Step one; check. Step two; check. Steps three through five; check, check, check. “Alright, we should be all set. Let’s go flip the circuit breaker back on and see if this ceiling light works.” The moment of truth. A flip of the switch…nothing. “Are you kidding me? I followed all the steps.”
Ever have something similar happen to you? You follow the directions to a tee, and whatever the product is, it just doesn’t work. I don’t get frustrated when something old doesn’t work. We expect things to wear out. But something new? Ugh, that’s when I lose patience. Thankfully, there is such a thing as a warranty.
God’s Word doesn’t need a warranty because it comes with a guarantee—God’s Word always works. How comforting is that! Yet, we often fail to trust that guarantee. More often than not, we stumble over the adverb, always. God’s Word always works? Then how come God’s Word didn’t crack the unbelieving heart of my neighbor? How come God’s Word didn’t dry the tears of my mourning aunt? How come God’s Word didn’t…? [you fill in the blank].
Before you ask another question, ask yourself this, “How do you know God’s Word didn’t work? How do you know that it just didn’t work yet? How do you know that it just didn’t work according to your plan?”
God says, “Just like the rain waters the earth…so is the word from my mouth.” God’s Word is living, powerful, and effective. And he gives it to you. Read, listen, and share God’s Word. And I guarantee—NO, God guarantees—his Word will work.
Lord, lead me to always trust the effectiveness of your Word. Amen.
We prepare ourselves to worship the one Savior God by expressing our humble repentance, offering our fervent prayers and singing our thankful hymns of praise.
Please note: Worship Service Restart Plans (Bulletin pages 20, 21) Worship f.)Due to the recent increase of COVID-19 virus cases testing positive in our area, worshipers are kindly asked to maintain social distancing, refrain from singing, and wear masks that cover both mouth and nose. Thank you for your consideration.
OPENING HYMN Good News of God Above
Sung by cantor. Christian Worship #568
M: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
CONFESSION & ABSOLUTION
When we confess to God that we have failed to live up to the perfect standards in his law, the pastor announces the perfect forgiveness of sins won for us by Jesus.
M: Beloved in the Lord: let us draw near with a true heart and confess our sins to God our Father, asking him in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to grant us forgiveness.
C: Holy and merciful Father, I confess that I am by nature sinful and that I have disobeyed you in my thoughts, words and actions. I have done what is evil and failed to do what is good. For this I deserve your punishment both now and in eternity. But I am truly sorry for my sins and trusting in my Savior Jesus Christ, I pray: Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
LORD, HAVE MERCY
The Church brings her concerns and prayers to a loving Father in heaven, who has shown great mercy to us and promised to hear our ardent cries for help.
M: God, our heavenly Father, has been merciful to us and has given his only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Therefore, as a called servant of Christ and by his authority, I forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son ✠ and of the Holy Spirit.
GLORY BE TO GOD
This song of praise reminds us of the wonderful things God has done for us, not the least of which is the salvation he gives through Jesus Christ.
M: In the peace of forgiveness, let us praise the Lord.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
M: The Lord be with you.
M: Let us pray.
Almighty God, we thank you for planting in us the seed of your Word. By your Holy Spirit help us to receive it with joy and to bring forth fruits in faith and hope and love; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Please be seated for the day’s Scripture readings
✠T H E W O R D✠
The Lord Jesus speaks to us in Scripture reading, preaching and song.
FIRST READING Isaiah 55:10-11 (today’s sermon text)
Summary: God’s Word accomplishes what he desires
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
PSALM OF THE DAY 65
The cantor sings refrains. Pastor reads the verses.
The earth is full of the goodness of God,
the goodness of our God.
Praise awaits you, O God,*
you call forth songs of joy.
You care for the land and water it;*
you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
The streams of God are filled with water*
to provide the people with grain.
You crown the year with your bounty,*
and your carts overflow with abundance.
The grasslands of the desert overflow;*
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;*
they shout for joy and sing.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son*
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,*
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
SECOND READING Romans 8:18-25
Summary: We have been born again through the imperishable seed, the Word of God
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerlyfor our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
VERSE OF THE DAY Deuteronomy 30: 14
Alleluia. The Word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. Alleluia.
GOSPEL READING Matthew 13:1-9,18-23
Summary: The parable of the sower
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop– a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who has ears, let him hear.”
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away. The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful. But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation, he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary, and became fully human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who in unity with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy Christian and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.
HYMN OF THE DAY Your Kingdom, O God
Sung by cantor. Christian Worship Supplement #755
SERMON Isaiah 55: 10-11
“How Is God’s Word Like Rain and Snow?”
1. It comes down from God
2. It affects the heart
3. It feeds the soul
Stand after the sermon.
CREATE IN ME
✠ O F F E R I N G S O F G I F T S & P R A Y E R S✠
Members of this congregation show their thanks to God for all he has done for them by returning a portion of their income to the Lord. Through these free will offerings, this congregation and its ministries are maintained. Please deposit your offering on the plate located near the church entry.
The Offering Prayer, Prayer for the Seed of God’s Word and Intercessory Prayers are spoken by pastor. Please see announcements on page 17 for those on our Intercessory Prayers list.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
✠S E R V I C E O F T H E S A C R A M E N T✠
In this service we celebrate the gift of Jesus’ redeeming love, we bear witness to the Christian fellowship we share, and we proclaim his death until he returns.
M: The Lord be with you.
M: Lift up your hearts.
M: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.
M: It is truly good and right that we should at all times and in all places give you thanks, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and everlasting God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Who promised that wherever two or three come together in his name, there he is with them to shepherd his flock till he comes again in glory. Therefore, with all the saints on earth and hosts of heaven, we praise your holy name and join their glorious song:”
HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
WORDS OF INSTITUTION
M: Our Lord Jesus Christ, on the night he was betrayed, took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body, which is given for you. Do this is remembrance of me.”
M: Then he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured our for you for the forgiveness of sins. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”
M: The peace of the Lord be with you always.
O CHRIST, LAMB OF GOD
Please be seated for the distribution
At St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church & Emmanuel Ev. Lutheran Church we practice closed Communion. If you are a guest at worship today and interested in receiving the Lord’s Supper, please speak with the pastor prior to the service. See page 17 for communion schedule and distribution information.
SONG OF SIMEON
M: O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
M: We give thanks, almighty God, that you have refreshed us with this holy supper. We pray that through it you will strengthen our faith in you and increase our love for one another. We as this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
The Lord bless you and keep you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord look on you with favor and ✠ give you peace.
CLOSING HYMN Almighty God, Your Word Is Cast
Sung by cantor. Christian Worship #324
Next week’s theme:
August 2, 2020 9th Sunday after Pentecost
“Waiting for the Final Harvest”
The Success of the Gospel Depends
On God’s Power and Blessing
The Eighth Sunday after Pentecost – A
God’s Word for Today
How do you get people to join your church? There are lots of suggestions. Most people suggest something special for every age group. It seems that you need to provide people with all kinds of programs. You also need to tell people what they want to hear. You may get people to join your church that way, but chances are they won’t ever become a part of the Holy Christian Church. You only become a member of God’s kingdom one way: through the preaching of the gospel. But even the success of our gospel preaching doesn’t depend on us. Instead it depends entirely upon God’s power and blessing.
First Lesson (Isaiah 55:10,11)
True or false: Whenever we proclaim God’s Word, we can be certain that our listeners will be brought to faith.
What does God mean that his Word “never returns to him empty”?
Second Lesson (Romans 8:18-25)
What is God’s creation awaiting?
What are we eagerly awaiting?
Why do we need to be patient?
Gospel (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23)
What is a parable?
What is Jesus’ point in the Parable of the Sower?
False. The gospel does not automatically produce faith. When we use the gospel, we hope and pray that this will be the outcome, but sadly there are many who reject the forgiveness that God offers in his Word and harden their hearts to its truths, as Isaiah experienced in his own ministry (cf. Is 6:9,10).
He means that there is never a “neutral” hearing of his Word. God’s Word either produces and strengthens faith in the hearts of his hearers, or it serves to harden those hearts. Even Jesus’ disciples – although still believers – were sometimes hardened to the truth of God’s Word when they refused to believe certain things (cf. Mk 6:52; Mk 8:17).
Awaiting the return of the Lord when it will be freed from the bondage of decay. In other words, things die and corrode in this world because of our sinfulness.
We await our adoption as children of God, when our broken-down and decaying bodies will be replaced with a body like the one Jesus received in his resurrection (cf. Php 3:21).
We need to be patient because Jesus’ return won’t take place until all those who were elected to faith from eternity are brought to faith the powerful Word of God. We don’t know when that will be, so we need to be patient.
A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus told many simple parables to the people of his day, using everyday events to help people understand the kingdom of God.
Jesus is pointing out to us that it is our job to cast the seed of his Word. That’s all. Whether that seed takes root is dependent on his power and blessing.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you. 1 Peter 1:3-4
The longer you live on this earth, the more you realize how true this is. That faded rust bucket you see on the highway was once pristine and spotless. That eyesore of a house you see in the old part of downtown once smelled of new wood and fresh paint. The arthritic, overweight coach was once a lightning-fast force of nature on the football field. The old woman in the Alzheimer’s unit was once the quick-witted life of the party.
But in this fallen world, everything goes away. Whatever is young and new and strong and fast does not remain that way for long. It all spoils and fades, and then it disappears.
Except for Jesus, and absolutely everything Jesus promises.
Because the almighty Son of God died for our sin and rose from death, he fills our cup to overflowing with gifts that can never perish, spoil, or fade. His forgiveness will never perish. His promise of eternal life will never spoil. His friendship will never fade away.
Lord Jesus, in this fallen world where everything seems to wear out, remind me that in you, I possess what will never perish, spoil, or fade. Amen.
I lived in Mexico for over two years. Soon after arriving, I attended a Bible study at the Lutheran Church in the city of Monterrey. After the Bible study, a couple of us decided to go to the movies.
Wanting to include everybody, I invited the other young people that were there, about ten in all, to come along.
With a strange sort of smile, one of them said, “Are you inviting?” As a naive gringo I said, “Sure, we want you to come along.”
It was only later that I learned in Mexico when you use the word “invite,” that means that you’re paying. Well, after paying for ten tickets to the movies, I had learned my lesson. From then on, I was careful not to use the word “invite” unless I was willing to pay.
The Bible is full of invitations. Our loving God invites us to find peace, forgiveness, and salvation in his loving arms.
He invites us because he has paid. The price was high—”The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Jesus suffered our hell—the punishment of our sins—in order to win heaven for us.
So, now, the price for our sins has been paid. We don’t have to chip in. We don’t have to do our part. Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished” (John 19:30). It’s all been paid for.
Be thankful for his gracious invitation and enjoy it!
Thank you, Jesus, for paying the price for my sins. May the kind of life I live this day reflect how thankful I am for this great gift! Amen.
President Abraham Lincoln once described how tired he felt. “Nothing could touch the tired spot within,” he said, “which was all tired.”
None of us has ever faced what President Lincoln had to face, of course. Nevertheless, his description of how he felt might touch a nerve with more than a few of us. As you read or listen to this devotion, perhaps you’re on vacation. Perhaps you’re enjoying some downtime or getting ready to dive into a favorite hobby. Or maybe you’re just looking forward to a good night’s sleep or at least a good nap. Whatever it is, enjoy it. Each, in its own way, is a gift of refreshment from God.
But it could also be that, at this moment, you have your own version of “the tired spot” that nothing can touch. It’s the kind of tired that no vacation, hobby, or good night’s sleep will remove.
That’s what sin can do—your sin and mine. The sinfulness of this broken world and the sinful failures of my own life can all roll together into a weariness difficult to describe. But the weariness is there. The weariness is deep.
But, listen to what Jesus tells us in our Bible reading for today, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened.” Jesus, here, is speaking as someone who knows precisely the kind of profound weariness that sin can bring. For this reason, when Jesus says, “I will give you rest,” he’s describing the kind of rest he knows we need.
The rest he brings is not in the perfect vacation. It’s not in your favorite pastime. It’s not in a dreamless sleep. The rest he brings is himself. “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows,” the prophet Isaiah said. In going to the cross on our behalf, not only has Jesus washed our sins away. He has also lifted from us the burden of guilt that went with those sins.
In its place? Himself. His forgiveness. His peace. His untiring love.
Lord, bless my moments of refreshment. Most of all, give me rest in you. Amen.