So do you ever catch yourself looking over the hill, across the fence of that other church? The one whose parking lot is so full on Sunday? The one who just seems to have everything neatly buttoned up and going along so smoothly? Do you ever look at their greener grass and wonder what it would be like to be a perfect church like they are?

            Of course, there’s no such thing as a perfect church. The church across town has its own difficulties and its own unique blessings just like any other. But it’s so easy to wonder why my church isn’t as good as someone else’s. It’s so easy to think of how unsuccessful we may be and forget that God says there really is such a thing as a perfect church. The perfect church is the one that has been sealed by God.

            God has marked every believer with the mark of his love found in his Word. It was his love that washed away every immoral sin, every selfish deed, every worldly thought. It was his love that sent Jesus Christ to live on this world as the perfect Christian that you couldn’t be. And that perfection of Christ has been granted to you because Christ died in your place and paid the price for your sin. It is God’s seal that makes you holy. It is that seal that is blazed on your forehead in the gilded words of the gospel in Word and sacrament. That is the Word which proclaims you sinner no more.