Read Matthew 25:31-46:
A big part of the season of Lent is that we take focus off self and come back to GOD. One of the most important and most impactful scriptures in my life has been Matthew 22:36-40 which is often called the Great Commandment. Basically, it can be summed up . . . to love GOD with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.
There is real tension in our faith experience about our love for GOD and expressing that love in tangible ways. The same can be said about loving our neighbor. It seems there is much talk but not so much tangible love expressed. I see that scripture has a problem with that.
This is another of many scriptures that speak of the call of GOD on our lives to love Him and to love our neighbors with more than our talk but with real tangible expressions in our world.
The Matthew 25 passage is a scene of the last judgment that JESUS paints for us. We will be judged on whether we: fed the hungry, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, comforted the sick, and visited the imprisoned. It is powerful to re-learn this wisdom –
Jesus identifies with each of these “least” cared for.
My pastor, Aarron Schwartz, once spoke of how loudly generosity speaks to a lost and dying world. Paul stated a truth describing the power and authority of the kindness of the LORD: “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of GOD leads you to repentance” (Romans 2:4)? It seems many in the Church believe speaking judgment and expression condemnation leads people to repentance. I think I want to side with Paul . . . and with GOD’s . . . word on this one!
It seems the message of Easter and the message of this season we call Lent is that through the death, burial, and resurrection of JESUS people everywhere experience Good News! Let’s celebrate it wildly!
JESUS is Risen . . . !