Are you a sheep? Or are you a goat? Matthew 25: 31-46
When you read today’s bible verses, did you categorize yourself as a sheep or a goat? I could definitely be a better sheep than I am right now as there is more I could be doing to give back of my time, talents and money.
As we dive into the beginning sentences, the vision painted for us is a mass crowd with God dividing us into two camps: sheep on the right who will be redeemed and saved and goats on the left who will be condemned and lost. The reading shares with us the characteristics of the sheep. 5 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ The “king” or God was not talking about himself. He was referring to others in the world. Did you give food to those in need? How about those who were thirsty or needed clothes or needed help or even a hug? If you see a homeless person on the street, do you walk by or do you give him or her something?
As I was evaluating options, so many ideas came to mind. We can always find avenues to perform charitable acts such as serving in a soup kitchen or volunteering at an organization. Each year at work, we have one day everyone serves. Various events are organized in big cities and we are expected to attend and serve. Here is Bloomington, we have worked at Home Sweet Home Ministries, sorting clothes, books, shoes, etc. The day serves as a way to give back to the community and i s a wonderful way to serve others with your colleagues. You walk away at the end of the day feeling very fulfilled. My self check based on this reading is that I should do more of these types of volunteer activities as well as doing more for others.
Timing was perfect for today’s reading for me for another reason. My son Jonathan (14) is currently in Ripley, Tennessee for his first church work camp experience. He went to Fellowship of Christian Athletes trip in 8th grade in Missouri with Kingsley Jr. High and loved it. Then, for whatever reason, when work camp rolled around last year, he did not go last year. Upon return and throughout his youth group this year, he heard from his friends who went how much fun they had so he plunged right in this year. They typically are assigned a work group with other churches so you meet new people. At night all the work groups get back together for fellowship. As we prepared for the trip and loaded his “work bucket” you could see he was excited but also slightly anxious. His older brother Matthew (17) who participated when he was a freshman assured him the experience would be both fun and rewarding. Certainly something he would not regret or forget. Jonathan is a kind-hearted young man and I know God will allow his good nature and helping hands to show through as he gives back. I cannot wait to hear the stories!
As you go about your week, hopefully you take the time to be sheep even if it’s “welcoming” or saying hello to a stranger on the street!