Matthew 25:31-46: When . . .
Jesus’ followers want to better understand the kingdom he is calling them to build. We may not understand this kingdom any better today. His apostles ask, “When did we see you hungry and naked?” We ask this same question today. When?
In our dualistic world we want to have neat formulas and clear lines. We see dichotomies like good versus bad, light versus dark and up versus down; but with Jesus there is always inversion and fuzziness. Up is usually down. Light penetrates the deepest darkness. Goodness and badness inhabit us in the same moment and yet, Jesus calls us to the simplest of principles. The world is a gray amalgamation of black and white; the kingdom is a place of mercy, goodness and understanding.
When did we see you . . . ?
I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.
If we cannot serve food in a soup kitchen or make casseroles for the homeless we can work at changing attitudes about how and why the poor are poor. In the kingdom we not only notice that some of us are worse off than others of us, we also work to change structures that starve, limit, divide and abuse. In the kingdom we not only invite others to serve the marginalized with us, we also abide with the lonely, sick and those imprisoned in physical, emotional or spiritual walls. In the kingdom we speak the same language of love that Jesus speaks.
I was hungry and you fed me . . .
In this Lenten season we put aside the distinction of sheep and goats since we cannot fully comprehend how Jesus makes sheep of us all and how he becomes the great shepherd for everyone. In this Lenten season we continue to practice transformative thinking that has the power to convert all hearts. Today we read these verses and remember . . .
Rather than thinking: “I am misunderstood,” I will think instead, “God is so understanding”.