Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Least of These

This week I was going to write about an ugly pretty woman, but I felt compelled to post this one, so we'll love on her in a few days. TM

Matt 25:35-45 (NIV) For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

When I see scenes on television of Tsunamis and Earthquakes in faraway places, I shake my head in a moment of empathy and turn the channel to a sitcom. I've got my own problems to deal with like how am I going to pay for all of the crap I've collected on credit? How am I going to fit this or that in my schedule between going to work and going to church and going to the mall or just going? Thank God for TIVO! Wait! Which God? My god.

It's easier to change the channel than it is to figure out how we can be a part of the redemptive process of helping the least of these. I know that some of what comes at us is manipulation, but I do find it interesting that the biggest response of support for such efforts tend to come from the elderly and lower income families. Just ask Bob. No doubt part of the reason is their ability to identify with the hurting and rejected.

My prayer over the past couple of years is that I would recognize and respond to the wooing and call of God in whatever way He desires. I long to discern the Body properly and partake - communion beyond union. In my fastidiousness I find I can be unapproachable and unavailable. I repent.

In my hunger to know and be known I see the sparrows and I know their nest is near the altar of God, and I more precious to Him than they. If I, then they are too. Who? The Hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, and those in the prisons of their own making. But our Jesus came to give life more abundantly to all.

"Do you feel their pain? Has it touched your life? Can you taste the salt in the tears they cry? Do you love them more than the hate that's been? Can you love them back to life again?"

If He can do that for us, then we can certainly find a way to buy a burger for a hungry homeless one, or roll down our car window at a stoplight and hand a crack addict some cash knowing they will use it for their next fix.

Yeah – let that one challenge you a while and see where it takes you. What if that next purchase lands them in jail and they get sober and some righteous child of God visits them in prison and they get saved? Just obey. Just obey.

Listen, recognize, and respond to the "least of these." You might just be rewarded with the virtue of knowing obedience and nothing more. May we decrease and He increase. I’m so glad He rescued me – the least of these.

Stay tuned - next post we're gonna explore the whores so leave the rocks at home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The needs are so many, and I'm just one person. But I can obey...if I listen to hear what I'm being told to do.