“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.” (Matthew 25)
Are we not surprised each time Jesus shows up in our lives? We fail to see him in the homeless person whom we judge to be too lazy or in the AIDS victim whom we self-righteously suspect of being responsible for her illness. We somehow can’t see Jesus in the faces of the working poor who toil endlessly and still can’t support their families.
It is time for us to stop concentrating so much on finding Jesus in the nave of our churches and start looking for Jesus in the faces of our brothers and sisters who are hungry, sick, homeless, imprisoned, discouraged, and lonely. These are the neighbors God would have us serve.
This message is adapted from a devotion by Delores Yancey, published in a Women of the ELCA stewardship guide. Today we remember Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany; and Olaf, King of Norway, martyr, who died in 1030.
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