(Jesus said) "But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
Have you ever noticed that a vacuum cleaner leaves little lines in the carpet?
I realized this when I was young. My job at home was to vacuum the carpet. One day I decided the carpet looked good enough, and I didn't need to run the vacuum cleaner. When my mother came back from work, she asked me to hurry and finish the job. I felt the compulsion to lie and say I had already done it. It was at that point I realized for the first time that the vacuum cleaner left those neat little lines.
These lines were proof the carpets had been cleaned.
Every few days I would return to my task of vacuuming, but it was hard to clean the carpets and retain those vacuum lines as evidence. Soon those little lines became an obsession.
They became more important to me than being able to actually live in the house!
Many of the people in my vicarage congregation were European-born. To some of them, I was perceived to be more important than I really was.
At times I was asked to stay in the living room with the doors closed while my hosts were busy in the kitchen, trying to put together a fabulous meal.
This always put me in an odd position. I went to visit these people and learn more about them, but there I was -- a vicar shut off from those with whom I had come to visit. Of course, protocol prohibited me from going into the kitchen where I could learn European ways of cooking and enjoy the meaningful conversation that surrounds getting life's daily tasks accomplished.
As the year passed, I was ultimately allowed in the kitchen.
The love and trust among friends grew to the extent that the relationship was more important than the rules and conventions of hospitality.
I tell my confirmation class the only commandment they need to obey is the first, and the rest will follow.
If you put God above all things, no rules or customs will matter. The only thing that matters is your faith through the Lord which says, "You are forgiven. You belong to Me."
THE PRAYER: Lord, help me look beyond the rules of this world. Help me to see You above all things so that in all I do, You may be glorified. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by our co-workers with Lutheran Hour Ministries in Canada. Sharing the world's longest land border with the United States, Canada -- a county of 35 million people -- is home to many Lutheran congregations served by LHM programs and personnel.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries