Matthew 25:34-36,40 – Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV)
After devotional time, my mornings usually follow a rather set pattern. Bed gets made and laundry started. Chewy goes outside to sniff the air and ground. Then he and Cat get fed. Water bowls and bird feeders get refilled. Somewhere in the midst of the muddle, my breakfast gets eaten, laundry laundered, and housekeeping done.
Most of the things that I do are routine — nothing earth-shaking — but like St. Francis of Assisi knew, the critters — some of the least of these — appreciate the attention. The birds at the feeder sing, the cat purrs on the porch, the dog's eyes glow, his tongue hangs out, and he pants his pleasure. My weekdays are filled with caring for critters.
However, these days, mission work and full-time ministry are beyond me, so I do what I am able to do at church: greet at the door, help with money, goods, and food, and support various missions.
When Jesus spoke the words in this parable, He was speaking of the end times when He'll be speaking these words to you and me. He'll say:
- "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat" … soup kitchen, food bank
- "I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink" … bottled water, wells
- "I was a stranger and you invited me in" … greeting people at the church door, entertaining at home
- "I needed clothes and you clothed me" … community clothing drives
- "I was sick and you looked after me" … hospital and hospice visits
- "I was in prison and you came to visit me" … prisoner and aftercare ministry
- "for one of the least of these" … orphans, Sunday school, nursery, VBS
The little things that we do for others, we do for Jesus!
Prayer: Lord God, enable us to serve You by helping the least of these, whether they be people or critters, for we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.