Luther Seminary God Pause
Thursday, 11/20/2014 Reading: Matthew 25:31-46
This coming Sunday marks the end of the liturgical year as we celebrate Christ the King Sunday. The Advent Season will soon be here.
It was a beautiful fall Sunday morning with bright sunlight and clear blue skies. As I entered the sanctuary, bright red colors surrounded me. The celebration of Reformation Sunday was in full force. The processional hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," rang out with pipe organ, brass, choirs and congregation singing with strong voices. Eighty-three young people confessed their faith, each one announcing, "I do, and I ask God to help and guide me."
The words of verse 40 of this reading from Matthew's Gospel flashed through my mind: "just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." My thoughts turned to parents, grandparents, God-parents and congregation--thank you for feeding, nourishing, welcoming and loving these eighty-three young people on their journey of faith from the waters of baptism until now! I left that celebrative service challenged to make a difference in my everyday world! Thank you young people for your bold affirmation of faith.
Gracious God, in the waters of baptism you come with your transforming and life giving Spirit. Come Lord Jesus today and renew in me your transforming presence that will feed, nourish, welcome and love a broken and hurting world. Amen.>
Ben H. Coltvet White Bear Lake, Minn. Master of Divinity, 1970
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."
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