Read Matthew 25:31-46

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

for I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,

I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

I was naked and you gave me clothing,

I was sick and you took care of me,

I was in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him,

 ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food,

or thirsty and gave you something to drink?

            And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you,

or naked and gave you clothing?

And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’

And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

 for I was hungry and you gave me no food,

I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

I was a stranger and you did not welcome me,

naked and you did not give me clothing,

sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Then they also will answer,

‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty

or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison,

and did not take care of you?’

Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

  From  Rev. Donald Snyder, Beckley First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

            Whether it is “evens and odds” or “rock, paper, scissors” kids know how pick teams.  Being on the right team is important, but being picked first even more so.  In this parable of Jesus the Lord is picking “teams,” but not so much for competition as reward. 

            The harsh reality of the Lord’s word sends a chill down most of spines because of the finality of them.  On the one hand this parable is a living reminder of Jesus words, “Not everyone who calls me “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven.” 

            On the other hand, the story reveals that our relationship to Jesus involves love in our dealings with others when the Lord comes to us.   Jesus came to be the Savior, and a part of salvation is living it out in love.  The simple command of Jesus is to “love one another.” 

            We have come to both the stable and the cross and experienced the love of God in Christ for salvation.  That gracious gift is lived out not only in our life of faith, but also a life of love for those around us.

Help me, O God, to live out Christ’s example of love and faithfulness in this new day and throughout the year.

 

These daily readings are offered by the Order of Ministry

of the Christian Church in West Virginia for your Advent journey.

They may also be accessed online or subscribed for email delivery at:

prayerscapes.wordpress.com

 

Do not reply to this email.  For Questions, contact Rev. David Chafin

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