The Lutheran understanding of the two kingdoms is not just the distinction be-tween the church and the state, the sacred and the secular, or the spiritual and the physical. Luther also described them as the “temporal kingdom” and the “eternal kingdom.”

The classic Christian distinction between the temporal and eternal is often neglect-ed today. The temporal is within time; it is the realm of change, instability and what passes away. Creation is time bound, and, as part of the temporal order, so are we. We grow up, grow old and die. The eternal is beyond time; it is the realm of God, everlasting life and salvation.

The Bible contrasts these two realms. “Surely the people are grass,” says Isaiah. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forev-er” (Isaiah 40: 7-8).
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,” says Jesus, “but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is , there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6: 19-21).

Despite its impermanence, the temporal realm is important. God rules as King over His creation. Here we come to faith and grow in faith. God has called Christians to temporal vocations — in our families, the workplace, our citizenship and the church — in which we live out our faith in love and service to our neighbors.

But we can get so wrapped up in our temporal life that we neglect our citizenship in God’s eternal kingdom. When Jesus and His disciples visited Mary and Martha, Martha complained that her sister, Mary, was not helping. Martha “was distracted with much serving.” As a result, she was anxious and troubled about many things” (Luke 10: 40-41).

This is an occupational — indeed, a vocational — hazard for all of us. We become so caught up in serving others that we become distracted, anxious and troubled.

Jesus commended Mary for choosing the good portion, for recognizing that only “one thing is necessary” (Luke 10: 42). And what was that? She “sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching” (Luke 10: 39).

This account is not about the superiority of the contemplative life over the active life. Cultivating an eternal perspective does not mean rejecting our life in the tem-poral world; rather, it puts it into perspective. Like Martha, we can easily become distracted, anxious and troubled by political issues, economic problems, sickness and other trials and tribulations of a fallen world.

But though moth, rust and thieves can take away our treasures on earth, we have treasures in heaven. This is because “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Heb. 13: 8). He rules both realms and because of the Gospel, we have a secure place in His eternal kingdom.
The Lutheran Witness (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO) December 2020, pg. 5.

Join us as we bid farewell to Vicar on Sun-day, August 11 with a potluck meal in the fellowship hall following the second service (approximately 12pm). Those with the last name beginning with A-K please bring a main dish and a dessert. Those with the last name beginning with L-Z please bring a main dish and a side dish. Contact Sarah Kaldahl to help with set up, trays, drinks, and clean up.

Help us to welcome the Flanicks to Good Shepherd by filling their kitchen. Preferred pantry shower items are located on the whiteboard in the narthex. Take the tag(s) with the name of the item(s) you will be purchasing. After purchasing, place the item(s) on the table labeled “Pantry Shower for the Flanicks”. Items will be collect-ed through Sunday, July 28th.

The Flanick family will be unloading the moving truck on Saturday, July 20th begin-ning at 9 am. If you would like to help them unload and get a bit organized, re-serve this date. The address is 1901 S. 48th St. Because it is not acceptable to park on 48th St., please park on a side street. Thanks for your help!

Seminarian Trevor Flanick will be installed as Good Shepherd’s vicar on Sunday, August 18th. We will also be welcoming him and his family at the church picnic sometime in September. Details are pending.

The church council minutes for May have been approved at the June meeting and are available on the bulletin board in the fellowship hall and on the table in the nar-thex where you pick up your bulletin. Every month the minutes from the previous month will be made available. If you have any questions, please contact Sue Stolcpart or Joe Ehrich.

STEWARDSHIP MOMENT— Romans 6: 22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life.” The fruits of faith in Christ are the good works of a faithful Christian life. We have received grace upon grace in the free forgiveness of our sins, and so we are now free to go forth and bear fruit in serving our neighbor in the home, the church and society.

Father Abraham was justified (Romans 4: 2-3); that is, he had a reason for coming into being and continuing to live. Abraham was not justified by works, that is; this reason arose from elsewhere than his own origin, appearance, or ability. Abraham was justified by grace; that is, God’s creating, redeeming, and calling defined his identity. The Gospel proclaims the sanctity of life to all Abraham’s offspring (Romans 4: 16)!

KNNA-LP 95.7 FM The Cross provides both Lutheran and community broadcasting. The vast majority of the programming is Lutheran theology based (about 80%). There are also many programs that are community oriented. You can hear regular updates from Nebraska Game and Parks, local sports information and programming, as well as several music programs like When Music Was Music, Classical Kitchen, and Soundscape Journeys. If you cannot listen on your radio, you can also access KNNA on the website at Thanks for listening!