Sheep stories {Day 18 of 40 Days of Lent}

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 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, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

(Matthew 25:31-46 ESV)

Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you …

He handed the young mother two cans of peas, smiled and asked her how she was doing. They chatted for just a moment before she moved on to the next station in the food pantry line. He turned to the elderly woman and handed her two cans of peas.

She sang while she washed the dishes. The mission had fed a couple hundred people that night. She wished there weren’t so many, but she felt blessed to have given them some food.

… or thirsty and give you drink?

It’s Day 21 of her water-only experience during Lent. She thought about the latte and the chai tea and the Dr. Pepper. She sighed and sipped from her water bottle. One less latte was $4 more for a well in Africa.

Hot and humid. Welcome to July in Central Pennsylvania. It’s hotter for the firemen, he thought as he loaded his cooler with ice and water bottles as he headed down the street where the fire police were directing traffic around the scene.

And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you …

She was nervous when she walked into the room. There were so many women here – so many successful women who blogged and wrote e-books and had thousands of Twitter followers and probably made everything Pinterest perfect. Then, that blogger came over. And said hello. And asked her to sit at her table for dinner. God is good …

The man looked cold as he limped down the street. So he pulled the car over and offered the man a ride. The man was so grateful. He only needed to go another block, but he had just finished his shift at the box store and as just too tired to walk any further.

… or naked and clothe you?

She clicked the button on the web site. Another month of sponsorship meant another month that a little boy halfway across the world would have clothes, food, education and medical care if he needed it. She whispered a prayer that he wouldn’t …

The kids were growing so fast, it seemed like she was taking a bag of clothes to the church every other week. But there were plenty of families who visited the clothing closet giveaway. Certainly they would be able to use them.

And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?

She picked an ornament off the tree at church. She imagined the little girl when she opened the present from her father. She brushed away a tear at the thought of the father there in his prison cell being told that a gift had been given to his daughter on his behalf. Neither of them would be alone this Christmas.

He laughed as he moved a piece on the checkerboard. It was a useless move. The old man was going to win again. How could he do that? He must have a lot of time to play with the other men here in the nursing home.

***

Where have you seen Jesus lately? How can you become more aware of the needs of the least of these?

***

These (hopefully) daily devotions for Lent have turned into daily devotions for March, which is technically not Lent but is the month leading up to Easter. They are based on the 40 Days of Lent reading plan available at YouVersion. The plan was graciously provided to YouVersion by Journey Church.

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