Unto the least of these…

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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.’ (Matthew 25:31-40)

Having just concluded our annual ministry to the homeless, I thought I’d share some random thoughts arising from the experience. First, there is nothing like ministry to unite God’s people together. Too many times we get divided over the silliest things. But when we roll up our sleeves and do hands on ministry, we are reminded again of our common Lord and our common faith. It is such a joy to work side by side with people who with us have been bought with the precious blood of Jesus.

Second, ministry to the homeless is fascinating because we quickly see how incredibly average these people are. Dare I say it? They are just like us in so many ways. When we engage them in conversation and even banter back and forth with them, before we know it, we forget that “they” are different from “us” because they aren’t. Too many people in the church never engage the “thems” of society in any meaningful way. But without significant contact with people outside of our safe friends and family, how will we ever take the gospel to the ends of the earth?

Finally, our ministry to the homeless is a reminder every year that how we help others will be a key indicator of our standing with Christ on the Day of Judgment. If we spend all our time within the comfort of our church walls, never touching the lives of those around us with the love of Jesus, how exactly has Jesus changed our lives for the better? When we have done it to the least of these, we have done it to Christ.

One Response to “Unto the least of these…”

  • melissa belanger:

    Just some random thoughts of my own.I imagined (during MCREST),that it was me that had to check in,be checked and give over, almost all my”stuff” to be bagged and tagged and put up for the night.I imagined that i had to be pat down before going into the sanctuary of a clean,safe,church.I imagined walking around all day in the wind and cold because i had no real home to go to to just chill out for a while.I imagined eating a sack lunch almost every day and not having any real control over what i eat for dinner.I imagined needing buss tickets and someone else to do my laundry.
    While i know that the MCREST guests were grateful because many of them told me so…..my heart still wants to keep them in real prayer that they will be blessed with permanent homes someday soon.
    As always my heart is moved in a big way by these 30 loveable,wonderful,sweet,good men……who by the way will be judged with the same scale that God uses to judge me and you at the end of our lives…….
    God Bless:)

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