Friday, November 20, 2015

Let Us Not Shrink From Our Responsibilities

“But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. “All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

“Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see 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 say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 25, 31-46

There is a multitude of people in the United States who do not believe we should give aid to the Syrian refugees fleeing persecution and fighting for their lives. People are proud that their government and their governors have declared, “Not in my backyard!” Memes are running rampant on social media likening the refugees to a bowl of M&Ms or gumballs with a few “poisoned” ones in the bowl. How many are willing to try one? We are constantly reminded that many of the terror attacks in our own country have come at the hands of “refugees” we have let in.

Do you think Jesus will accept the excuse that we failed to give aid to the Syrian refugees living in crisis because there were vipers among them? Do you think he will understand that we did not help “them” because of increased danger to “us”?

Christians all over this country have feigned outrage with President Obama because he once stated that this is not just a Christian nation anymore. Many of the same Christians now feign a similar outrage with the President because he wants to come to the aid of those in desperate need. So are we still a Christian nation that does as Christ taught? Do we feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty? Do we invite in strangers and clothe the naked? Do we tend to the sick, the suffering, the persecuted, and those in prison or do we only give lip service to those things as long as not much is required of us and there is no danger imposed on our way of life?

When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain; and after He sat down, His disciples came to Him. He opened His mouth and began to teach them, saying,

            “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

             “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

             “Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth.

             “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

             “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

             “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

             “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

 “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the   kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Matthew 5, 1-12


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