Good morning:

On Tuesday the Lord suddenly called longtime Messiah member, Marty Bernthal, home to Himself to receive the crown of glory Jesus won for all of us on the cross. On Wednesday the news broke that a veteran Milwaukee police officer had been shot and killed in the line of duty. It makes one pause and think. That’s a good thing. Often we become so wrapped up in getting to work on time, making sure the credit card gets paid, and squeezing in ball games that we lose perspective.

It happened with Jesus’ friend Martha. Jesus and His disciples dropped by the home of three siblings: Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha immediately was caught up in being a good hostess—so many things to think about…so much to do…how would it all get done? Finally, she came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (Lk. 10:40). It seems like a reasonable request, doesn’t it? We can relate. The laundry won’t get washed by itself. The church lawn won’t get mowed if a volunteer doesn’t take the time to do it.

But remember Jesus’ response to Martha? “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Jesus wanted to reset Martha’s perspective and priorities.

This past week reminds us that our lives could come to a screeching halt at any moment. What will matter then is not how successful we were at work or how clean the house is or even how much we did in the Lord’s name. “Only one thing is needed”—faith in Jesus as the Son of God who laid down His life in payment for sin that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

Let’s regularly pause and rethink how we use God’s gift of time. Rather than focus on all we want to do or have to do, let’s keep our eyes on what Jesus has done for us. That’s the one thing that will matter whenever God brings our time on earth to an end. Jesus promises, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).

In tomorrow’s sermon text (Ex. 24:3-11) we read how God gathered Israel at Mt. Sinai to hear His Word and how He sealed His covenant by a blood sacrifice foreshadowing Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

Yours in Jesus’ service,

Service times tomorrow are 8:00 and 9:30 a.m.
The voters meeting gets underway after second service, about 10:45 a.m. Annual elections will be held.
The victory service for Marty Bernthal will be at 3:00 p.m., preceded by visitation beginning at 1:30 p.m. A lunch will be provided after the service.

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