The least of these...

"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
As followers of Christ we have a calling to serve. Every single one of us is called to serve in some capacity regardless of our different gifts. Jesus was the ultimate servant and he tried many times and in different ways to explain this to his disciples. There is a beautiful example of this in John 13 where Jesus is washing his disciples feet. We are here on this earth to serve each other. Jesus said "you should also wash one another's feet." John 13:14 But are we doing that?
  Reading the verses in Matthew 25 caused me to reflect on my own life. When my husband is hungry I feed him. But is that what Jesus meant? Or did he mean that when we see someone truly hungry on the street we should go buy (or make) them a meal? I don't remember ever clothing anyone truly in need. And of course I would never let a stranger in my home (I watch enough cnn to know better). I'm quick to look after my husband when he's ill, but what about others? I can honestly say I have not once gone to prison to visit the incarcerated.
  I remember watching a clip of a video about a group of Christians who had gone to Africa on a missions trip. One of the young men in the group noticed an older man in the village who didn't have a shirt to wear. The young man walked over to him, took the shirt off his own back, and gave it to the older man. Now that is clothing someone who needs it. I think of Mother Teresa when I think of looking after the sick. She is held with such high esteem for obeying a simple command, and so we think that it is only for the spiritually great to do such things. You know, pastors, nuns, missionaries and such. But this is the expectation for all Christians!
   Sometimes I think that we are so wrapped up in our own world that we can't peek out to see what's really going on. Or, even worse, we just don't want to. It makes us uncomfortable to speak with the homeless, talk to strangers, or even think about visiting a jail. We assume that everyone else is as comfortable in their own little bubble as we are, so we refuse to reach out. At the most, we'll hand them a tract, or a Bible verse rather than food, clothes, comfort, and our time. But these people need to see love in action. They need our time, our resources, our care, our service
  Regardless of the spiritual and financial gifts that God has blessed us with, we can all serve others in the ways that Christ described in Matthew. This is our hope and our calling. This is our greatest act of worship! For Jesus said, "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 Will you meditate on this today? Let's look for opportunities to serve others, and thus serve the Lord. I pray that He would press on our hearts and make us long to be servant to the "least of these..."