A Blessed New Year to you all!
As we ponder resolutions for the new year, consider this: the majority of new people in the church come at the invitation of another. So, I hope and pray that as we look forward to 2023, we resolve to bring someone to church. The darkness of an unbeliever's life can only be replaced by the Light of Christ. This Light can only be found in His house. Luther wrote something about this that I share with you. "[L]et it be your chief work to proclaim this publicly and call everyone into the light you have been called. Where you find people who do not know this, you should instruct and teach them as you have learned, namely, how one must be saved through the power and strength of God and come out of darkness into the light. And here, you see that Peter states clearly that there is only one light and concludes that all our reason, no matter how clever, is utter darkness. For although reason can count one, two, and three, can also see what is black or white, large and small, and can judge outward things, yet it cannot see what faith is. Here it is stone-blind. And even if all men were to put all their wisdom together, they could not understand one letter of divine wisdom. Therefore St. Peter is speaking here of another light, a marvelous light, and he tells us bluntly that we are all in darkness and in blindness if God does not call us into His true light. Experience also teaches us this. For when one preaches that we cannot come before God with works, but that we must have a Mediator who could come before God and reconcile us to Him, then reason must admit that it could have absolutely no knowledge of this." Martin Luther Luther's Works, AE 30:65, Sermons on the First Epistle of St. Peter 1 Peter 2:10
Pastor Rick Sears