August 25, 2014
(Jesus said) "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." Matthew 6:33
Robin Williams died. More precisely, the comedian and Academy Award-winning actor took his own life at the age of 63.
The reaction to the news story was immediate and overwhelming. The news media went into a feeding frenzy, and it seemed as if every actor who had ever met Williams, no matter how briefly, felt the need to share his story with the world. Of course, there was that one actor who said William's suicide was selfish, and he should have trusted the Lord rather than taking his own life ... but that fellow, after being chastised and vilified, retracted and apologized for his remarks.
And the public? Well, the public's reaction was also massive. Inquiring minds wanted to know and eventually the curiosity seekers ended up crashing the Wikipedia page on Robin Williams.
On the same day Robin Williams died, the World Health Organization was being overwhelmed by the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. On the day that Robin Williams died, in the name of Allah, Christians in Iraq were slaughtered ... many martyred in ways too terrible to share in this devotion.
In spite of these global disasters, the world's eyes continued to focus on the tragic death of a comedian. The world became preoccupied with a situation about which they could do nothing and left untouched those ongoing problems in which care, compassion and commitment would mean everything.
That is a sad and sorry thing.
Many years ago I read of a two-day period during which a homeless man, a train maintenance worker, and a dog were killed on New York's subway tracks. Ninety people called the Transit Authority to express concern about the dog, three phoned about the worker, and no one about the homeless man.
Wrong priorities are always sad and sorry things.
Jesus knew that having right priorities was incredibly important.
* Wishing to encourage proper priorities is why Jesus defended Martha whose great desire was to listen to her Savior.
* To encourage proper priorities, Jesus explained the Pharisees' way of following the Law had missed the point of loving God and your neighbor.
And if you were to ask the Savior, "What should be at the top of our priorities?" He would say, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." And how do we find the kingdom of God? That would come for all those who follow the Savior, who gave His life to save the world.
Seek the Savior. When you have proper priorities, the rest of your life falls into the proper place.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I pray the world's priorities may not be mine. Let me see with eyes of faith so that I may follow the Savior to eternal life. In His Name I ask it. Amen.
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Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries