9/14/21 Devotional from Ed
September 14, 2021
Text: 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.”
Devotional: I realize I may get all seminary here, but the original Greek varies slightly from the translation we have in our pew Bibles. When Jesus says, "Just as you did it to one of the least of these," it could actually be translated to the following:
"To the extent you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me."
See the difference?
We say this many times in church, but these words from Jesus remind us of the difference between charity and service. Service requires ongoing commitment. Now that we've started a new academic year, a year that is begging for us to serve in new ways in a challenging environment, may we remember to keep working to be the disciples we are called into becoming.
Prayer: Dear God, Fill us with your Spirit this day and beyond. Open our hearts to serve, to lead, to teach, and to guide others. And may we take comfort in knowing you are right there with us as we step out of the boat. Amen.