Monday, March 02, 2009

Lent, Day Six

"Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of Mine, you did for Me." Matthew 25:40b

This verse is taken from the passage about the sheep and the goats. Jesus is speaking to the disciples about the Kingdom again. He tells them several parables about what the Kingdom is like, or can be compared to. This portion speaks of the time period when He will have come again in His glory, and will sit in judgment over the nations. He says here that He will separate them as sheep and goats would be separated by a shepherd. I'm not sure of the context of that, as I don't know a lot about shepherds, sheep, and goats. It's obvious from what He says here, though, that the sheep are the "good" ones, and the goats are the "bad". (I almost went for the pun there, but chose not to!)

And what are they judged on? Now here's where it can get a little tricky, so stay with me. He doesn't judge them on whether or not they ever said a "sinner's prayer". (Have you ever noticed that this prayer is absent from Scripture? It is also absent from Church history until the late 1800's. There's a reason for that...but that's not what this post is about!) He didn't judge them on whether they had memorized a lot of Scripture, though that is certainly a good thing to do. I digress. He didn't judge them for many things. But what He did judge them according to was their ability to follow His example and reach out to the least: those without food, those without drink, those who are "strangers" (read "aliens" or "immigrants"), those without clothing, those who are sick, and those in prison. The least... The unborn, the aged, the poor, the imprisoned, those deemed "least" by our society... The least...

Remember what we read a couple of days ago, when He was questioned why He ate with tax collectors and sinners? He was giving us an example! The least. They are the ones in most need, and the ones He wants us to reach out to. That's the final judgment: How did we treat the least among us? Did we ignore them? Did we simply figure, "They'll just use any money I give them to buy drugs or alcohol?" Or did we give, and let God take care of the details???

It is not an easy task. But it is what He has called us to.

My offering to God: I will help feed a homeless person who goes unnoticed by the world.

A little P.S. here. Please take time to go to my Ramblings of a Freckled Mom blog. There's an inspiring story about a young girl who made a difference!
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