Matthew 25:31-46 (NRSV)

31 “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. 32 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, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 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; 35 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, 36 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.’ 37 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? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 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.’ 41 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; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 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.’ 44 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?’ 45 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.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”   

Matthew 25:35 (NRSV)

35 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,   

DEVOTION – Anton Kuzmin (Saint Petersburg, Russia)

Lately, our church has been preparing hot meals for people who are hungry or homeless.  But this is not the first time we have had a ministry to poor people.  In the past, when we did not have our own building, the young people collected bags of food and distributed them.  We went around the neighboring areas and sought out those who needed food.  Now we have our own building where we can invite people in and feed them with hot soup, sandwiches, and tea.

Part of me was disappointed; we had prepared a meal for 20 people.  However, I noticed between the church and a business project:  numbers are not as important as the quality of the achieved result.  But what is the point in having large numbers of guests if I didn’t even know how to talk to our one guest or conduct around him?

I know that Jesus would have done things differently.  Jesus calls us to feed those who are hungry and welcome strangers as if we are welcoming him.  Jesus would have found the right words that night.  I know that with a tiny bit of faith and courage we can follow Jesus’ example.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: When we welcome others we are welcoming God.

PRAYER: Dear God of compassion, help us offer hospitality to our neighbor with out fear or hesitation.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE WHO ARE HOMELESS

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