The Least of These

What if we took Matthew 25:31-46 to heart?  We have folks arguing with passion in the PC(USA) that we have lost our way and that the ultimate issue isn’t about ordination or marriage standards but rather how we view the authority of Scripture.  What if we all took Matthew 25:31-46 to heart?  What if we all agreed, at least these verses should be normative or formative for us?  The passage is about eternal life.  It is about eternal punishment.  It is about the second coming.  It is about what we should be doing – right now.  And it is about how we will be judged.

What is the judgment standard?  It isn’t about who maintains this belief or that belief.  It isn’t about ordination standards.  It isn’t about our view of the Scripture.  It isn’t even about our sex lives.  What Jesus says will be the focus of our judgment is how we handled the least of these, or to put it another way, the least of us.

This is a question that goes well beyond the church as national, state, and city budgets are out of balance.  We are not just church members, we are citizens as well.  We are neighbors as well.  It should be our focus spiritually, socially, economically, and politically.  What are we doing for those that are hurting, are poor, are hungry, are sick, are ill prepared for life?  What do we propose to do (and what are we actually doing) to make that different?  This doesn’t mean traditionally ‘liberal’ answers necessarily.  There is a good argument to be made that by the government shoving money toward the poor that they might do more harm than good.  But we cannot stop there.  If not there, then what?  How are we going to help the least of these as a society?  As a church? As a family?  As a person?

Jesus even says we will meet him if this is our priority.

Shouldn’t this be our focus?  Shouldn’t this be our function?

In these days of change, may Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:31-46 be our rallying point.

Until next time,

Tom Paine

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