Matthew 25: 34 – 40
34 “Then the King will speak to those on his right. He will say, ‘My Father has blessed you. Come and take what is yours. It is the kingdom prepared for you since the world was created. 35 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. 36 I needed clothes. And you gave them to me. I was sick. And you took care of me. I was in prison. And you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the people who have done what is right will answer him. ‘Lord,’ they will ask, ‘when did we see you hungry and feed you? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you as a stranger and invite you in? When did we see you needing clothes and give them to you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘What I’m about to tell you is true. Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
I chose this verse because Jesus calls us to help the less fortunate as Christians but I often see people who claim to be Christians not doing this. I think this is something Christians should work harder at because there are people who need help and I see us turn our backs on them whether that means giving someone money or food on a smaller scale or on a larger scale by being gracious with what you have and realizing that our home is a land of opportunity and letting people come in to have a better life.
America has a large homeless community, 553,742 people were estimated to be homeless on a one single night this year. Atlanta, my home city where I spent 14 years of my life, tied with Boston, Fresno, New York, San Francisco, Washington, and D.C for first place for the largest homeless community. Something I saw in the homeless community was helping and sharing. I think that this is so beautiful because it does show that the people with the least to give, give the most.
Once, when my brother and I were younger, our parents took us to an outdoor church service for the homeless on the longest night of the year. This wasn’t something new to me. I had spent a large amount of time with the homeless community and my brother and I were the youngest ones out of everyone, and that put us as the odd ones out. We saw a man named Anthony approach us in this parking lot. “Hey I’ve got something for you,” he said. He directs me, my brother, and my father to follow him to the trunk of the van they were using to carry things to the parking lot for the church, and he pulls a ball out and hands it to my brother saying “I thought you’d like this.”
I also see the same thing across the world, but I see it here most, I see the Palestinians who have their houses, lives, children, and land taken from them, I see them with the most warm hearts and the most ready to step forward to help when someone else is in need.
What I see happening often, is some sort of power dynamic. I think the more material things a person has, the less they feel the need to help those who don’t have the same opportunities. I want to be the person who always helps no matter how much or little I have to give.
This is something I think Jesus call us to do, “Anything you did for one of the least important of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” He calls us to help him by helping others and taking care of our fellow inhabitants on this earth. I think that this is not something that is easy to follow especially in a world ruled by material things. This is a time when we need to call on God for help; to help keep us on track of what really matters, and for help when it becomes hard.
Sylvia Marie Gray – 15
Momma note: Sylvia mentions homeless communities she was shaped by; they are:
Church of the Common Grounds – in cooperation with the Episcopal Diocese in Atlanta
Mercy Community Church – in cooperation with St. John’s Lutheran Church in Atlanta
She is now an adult member of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in the Old City, Jerusalem.