Sometimes we need to see the results of our neglect on those that need the most!
The following story is rather a tragic one. We need to always treat others with dignity, no matter what they look like; where they come from; what they do or don’t do for a living . . . always remembering to share a word of encouragement; a giving hand; and above all, express our love, as God has extended His to us. If we don’t show ourselves friendly, can we truly call ourselves Christian?
THE LEAST OF THESE
It was a cold winter’s day that Sunday. The parking lot to the church was filling up quickly. I noticed as I got out of my car that fellow church members were whispering among themselves as they walked to the church.
As I got closer, I saw a man leaned up against the wall outside the church. He was almost lying down as if he was asleep. He had on a long trench coat that was almost in shreds and a hat topped his head, pulled down so you couldn’t see his face.
He wore shoes that looked 30 years old, too small for his feet. With holes all over them, his toes stuck out. I assumed this man was homeless and asleep, so I walked on by through the doors of the Church.
We all enjoy fellowship for a few minutes, and then someone brought up the man who was lying outside. People snickered and gossiped, but no one bothered to ask him to come in, including me. A few moments later, church time began. We all waited for the preacher to take his place and give us The Word when the doors to the church opened. In came the homeless man, walking down the aisle with his head down.
People gasped and whispered and made faces. He made his way down the aisle and up onto the pulpit. When he took off his hat and coat, my heart sank. There stood our preacher. He was the “homeless man”.
No one said a word. The room was silent and still.
The preacher took his Bible and laid it on the stand.
“Folks, I don’t think I have to tell you what I’m preaching about today. Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” He proceeded to preach a sermon about treating others with dignity and kindness even if they seem to be the “least”.
I would hope that if anyone of us saw someone that looked indigent, on our church premises, that we would do everything in our power to encourage them to walk through the doors and partake of the Word of God. If they looked, as though they were asleep, try to rouse them. If they looked displeased or simply ignored you, let them know that you would hope to see them indoors, when they’re ready. DON’T simply ignore a person because they seem “out of place”. You may be the only mediator that they ever encounter!
Matthew 25:40-46 (KJV)
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
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