Paul was a man who suffered more for the Gospel than most of us can imagine. While imprisoned in Rome he would write to the Philippian Christians, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”(1:21-24) I sometimes think of this phrase “to depart and be with Christ which is far better.” As a pastor I see the hurt and pain of this broken world that touches so many that I know and love. I hear of another death, or severe illness, or one who is in serious trouble because of a wrong path in life, and I am helpless. There is nothing I can do about it. I just want to burden of this sinful life to be over for all of us. Yet, it is not the Lord’s time, and we are to remain doing what is “more necessary” for those we can reach. My recently ordained son-in-law said that he sees his task as helping those he meets to move one step closer to the Lord. We don’t know when the Lord will choose to end the burdens of this world, but that is the task for all of us, to help each one we meet move a step closer to the Lord. All the rest is in the hands of our gracious God.