I think most of us live busy lives. We are torn in different directions, struggling to balance work, family and some semblance of a personal life. On top of this, those of us called to be Christians try to find time to be obedient to God and give to those around us. It can be challenging at its best. It can be easy to dismiss our calling. It can be easy to turn our backs on others. We can justify our apathy by giving our time to our families and nothing more.
But God calls us to do more. He calls us to serve “the least of these”. I’ve read Matthew 25:34-40 many times and often feel convicted as I do but I don’t think these verses are just a laundry list of service opportunities. This time, as I read them, I focused less about WHAT I should do and instead looked at WHY I should do it. Matthew 25:40 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Serving Christ by serving others. Serving because we aren’t just serving our neighbors who are hungry, we are serving God. If we really saw God in our service, would it change our perspective? If Jesus was standing on a street corner, hungry, would we walk on by? If Jesus was locked in a prison cell, would we pretend He didn’t exist? If Jesus was sick with COVID or even just at risk, would we complain about our “rights”? Our brothers and sisters are suffering in unimaginable ways: Living in fear in the midst of war and crime. Children locked in cages at the border because their parents wanted, needed, a better life for them. Our elderly dying alone, separated from their loved ones. If we saw them as JESUS, would that change our heart?
Finding time to serve is challenging but God tells us how to do it. Open our eyes around us and see JESUS standing in front of us, needing our help. If we focus on “the least of these”, our time will be well spent.
“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.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" Matthew 25:34-40