Matthew 25:31-46 (CEV)
When the Son of Man comes in his glory with all of his angels, he will sit on his royal throne. The people of all nations will be brought before him, and he will separate them, as shepherds separate their sheep from their goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, "My father has blessed you! Come and receive the kingdom that was prepared for you before the world was created. When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me."
The the ones who please the Lord will ask, "When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?"
The king will answer, "Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me."
Then the king will say to those on his left, "Get away from me! You are under God's curse. Go into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels! I was hungry, but you did not give me anything to eat, and I was thirsty, but you did not give me anything to drink. I was a stranger, but you did not welcome me, and I was naked, but you did not give me any clothes to wear. I was sick and in jail, but you did not take care of me."
Then the people will ask, "Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?"
The king will say to them, "Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me."
Then Jesus said, "Those people will be punished forever. But the ones who pleased God will have eternal life."
1. We had this same scripture passage just last November 21 for Thanksgiving time. It suggests a time of thanksgiving needs to go on as we enter this year 2000 which has so many magical attributions to it. May you give thanks for the many concrete ways in which you are able to act out your belief.
2. Whenever we have been helpful (whether Christian or not) we participate in hope. Hope can be said to live through us in our deeds. This would make a good bed-time, refrigerator exercise. Put a chart up on your refrigerator with the days of the week written down the left side and space to write the ways in which you were helpful during that day. This has to be kept up daily to be useful. I expect you will find yourself finding more and more and smaller and smaller ways in which you can identify your helpfulness. We need to honor sheer quantity of helpfulness and at the lowest common denominator level. Often and small are good words here. They are the grease of hope in people's lives.
3. Does having come through Y2K mean we can take it easy for the rest of the year? this day of judgment won't show up for another thousand years so we can rest easy since we won't be around? Do we show our thankfulness by relief and going back to our standard operating procedures? Do we show our thankfulness by continuing and multiplying a helpful life? The choice is still before us.
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