Choices and paths. Preparedness and action. Earlier posts came to mind when I read Matthew 25 this week. I thought about Dave’s reflection last Sunday about Matthew’s book being about choice and what we do with what God has given us when I read about the servants entrusted with the talents when the master went away (Matthew 25:14-30). And Greg’s thoughts yesterday of the servant tending daily responsibilities were the precursor to reading of the ten virgins, the lamp oil and awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1-13).
Choices and paths. Preparedness and action. These were the words that flavored the text as I read about feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty.
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. Matthew 25:35-36.
Sometimes reading verses like these take me to a broader, global application–which is good. But when I considered the local, immediate involvement … the daily application of compassion and hospitality … opportunities to look into someone else’s eyes and glimpse Jesus–the sowing becomes the harvest.
A food gift to a new neighbor; a pitcher of ice water to the cable installers on a summer day; inviting a new mom to playgroup and cultivating a friendship; assisting a family struggling in a rough economy; caring for someone afflicted with a chronic illness; looking into the eyes of someone imprisoned who may feel forgotten and unwanted.
What am I doing with the talents God has given me? I could read these passages and feel condemned–or I can read them and see great possibility even in the smallest action.
The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40.
I echo Greg’s prayer. Lord, give me the staying power to be obedient to your will moment by moment. It is my greatest desire to abide in you so that when you come looking for me you find me serving your purposes. Amen