Sunday, March 08, 2009

Whatever You've Done to the Least of These . . .

After Ash Wednesday, I picked up a free devotional book called "The Little Black Book." I want to share with you the scripture and meditation that were in that book. First, the scripture.

Jesus Said, "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me." ( for the full quote, Matthew 25.31-46).

And then the devotional shared the following.

This passage isn't a parable. At the beginning of the passage, Jesus uses the image of a shepherd, but the rest is a straightforward statement telling us how we will be judged.

The most astounding truth here is that, whatever we do toward the poor, it's not as if we were doing it to the Lord. We are doing it to Him. Jesus is present in the down-and-out, and what we do to them, we are doing to Him.

Through his Incarnation, Jesus has identified Himself with all human beings. But He has a special concern for the poor, the weak, the lowly, those who get left out . . .

. . .So what do I do--put more money in the poor box? Well there's something that has to come first--something more basic. It's not simply a question of being nice to people who get left out. Rather, it's seeing the Lord in them.

How do I do that? Talk to the Lord about it.

I've been wanting to post that (and a number of other things) for the past few days, but hadn't been able to until this morning.

Sometimes I think we can get so caught up in ourselves, that we end up interacting with others in a way that robs their humanity. It's not just the outcasts, it's everyone. Today, I pray you can begin a habit. I pray that as you run into others today at the store, at work, at school, on the street, and wherever you may be, may you see the people with whom you come into contact as people made in the image of God and people Jesus loves deeply.

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