Devotional

12. The Least of These

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
 “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.’
 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire 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, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Matthew 25: 31-46

I can’t ignore what is happening in North America. The racial tensions and the utter pain and trauma that is being relived day in and day out by our black brothers and sisters has to overwhelm us with grief. Grief for the people of God. Grief for the image bearers of God.

But I’m not in a position to speak with authority on issues such as racial reconciliation. All I have right now are ears and a broken heart. But one thing I am confident I can do is pray. So I hope you will join me in prayer for the next several devotionals.

Father eternal, Lord of Heaven and Earth. Your creation is crying out and you hear us. Your heart breaks for you beloved. Thank you that before any of the injustices of these days, you died on the cross to save us. That before the creation of the world, you held all justice in your hands. Let our hearts and minds bend to you, Lord God. Let us uphold one another in love and faithfulness to the one who taught us how to love. God, there is no justice apart from you. There is no peace apart from you. There is no reconciliation apart from you. Bend the hearts of your people of all races to devote their lives to unity with one another — through empathy, understanding and love — so that we, together, can show the whole world the greatness of our God. Amen.

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