Experience silence in the midst of your busy day. Take some time to relax into a time to be with God.
Matthew 25:31-46 (NRSV)
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
As I see it, this scripture can be summarized as follows: Treat others as you would treat Jesus. That statement begs the questions, “How would I treat Jesus?” How do I treat Jesus?
To answer those questions, I must look at myself with fresh eyes. How do I treat others?
It is clear that we are to welcome strangers, clothe the naked, feed the hungry, and visit those who are in prison. But how do we treat our neighbors—all of our neighbors?
Working to meet people’s needs is what we do as believers of Jesus Christ. Doing so is a full-time job, and it feels sacrificial! I think Jesus smiles and is filled with pleasure when he sees us giving radically and extravagantly. It sounds so easy to treat others with respect and love and grace, but if it were so easy, why does Jesus have to tell us so many times? The truth is that it is not easy, so we must carefully study ourselves every day.
God of everybody, we know that we are flawed. Sometimes we are the people who need to be helped—the naked and the sick. We ask you to fill us with your light and your love. Help us to honor you by noticing the needs of others every day. Help us to be better watchers and better listeners. Help us to be people who can reach down into the depths of our souls and find your strength that will help guide our actions and thoughts as we share responsibility for caring for one another while we are on this earth. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
Go with God.