“When you do it to the least of these, you’ve done it unto Me”, Jesus said.
This time of year we seem to become more generous and sensitive. A lot of Thanksgiving meals were prepared today and handed out to the under-employed and housing-insecure in our communities. And we feel pretty good about ourselves because of what we did today.
Around Christmas there will be another surge of giving. Meals, clothes, and gifts will be distributed in certain neighborhoods.
But what about the rest of the year? How can we forget about them the other 10 months? For those who claim Faith in Christ, does He stop calling our attention to those in need January through October?
He also said when we don’t do these things for the least of these, we are neglecting Him. There are some that step up to the plate with contributions like clothes. But they bring them unwashed and wadded up in big garbage bags to the doorsteps of ministries and let them work at sorting, washing, and organizing their throwaways to hand out on the street. The poor, the homeless, and addicted ought to be grateful, right?
But if we really believed were were clothing Jesus Himself, is this what we would bring Him?
I sleep in a nice house, in a comfortable bed, next to my loving wife and yet I loose sleep because I have friends that are curled up outside or in an abandoned house or car tonight. I pray for their safety and health. I pray that I can keep feeding them. I pray that they will feel welcome in my life. I pray that I can help restore their dignity. I pray that I give them my best. I pray their souls will feel their worth.
I pray that my friends that are like me, secure and comfortable, will step out and allow Christ to use us to not just to contribute but to sacrifice so that others might live. I pray that Christ will give us the vision that the downtrodden and ignored are our brothers and sisters. I pray that we become aware we need them as much if not more than they need us in our Spiritual journey.
If I believed that Jesus was the recipient of the shirts, pants, shoes, socks and underwear I brought, I would bring something fresh. I would bring toothpaste and toothbrushes. I would bring soap and detergent. I would give to ministries that are on the frontline and volunteer time with them.
At least I would do those things if I believed Jesus meant what He said.
We carry the Spirit of Christ with us. He has entrusted us with the Keys to the Kingdom. We sing and shout In our church services while people are dying in the shadow of our steeples.
The least of these surround us. What will you do?