Matthew 25: 31-46

Rachel Nixon
Rachel Nixon

You may be mistaken in thinking this week's life file was going to begin with some sort of Bryan Adams sing-along. Unfortunatley (depending if you're a fan or not) this is not quite the case, however his song did fit quite well with some themes running though this week's Life File and some thoughts and challenges I've been processing recently.... Hopefully all will be made clear.

I'd like to think of myself as quite a logical/practical person. It's good not to over complicate the Bible. So when I read a passage like Matthew 25: 31-46:

"..for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 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." makes logical sense to think of the people we pass by on the street. The homeless and lost who, when asking for help we (and I) ignore or pass by.

I've been lucky this year to do a bit of travelling and the countries I visited I experienced many more of these cries than I do in my local town when I'm out doing a bit of shopping. When I was in Paris, we went to the Notre Dame Cathedral. There was a huge mass of awe inspiring shiny things inside yet coming out, one lone shabby looking homeless lady was hiding her face with one lone outstretched arm. Can you see the contrast? I'm not criticsing the church or it's members, I'm sure a large portion of it's giving is to many charities. I guess my challenge is on a more personal level. Jesus said everytime we don't give the thristy a drink, the stranger welcome, the naked some clothes and the imprisoned visits, we don't do it for Him. Now I'm not saying every homeless person we see we have to rush up to them and give them a patronising hug or money. After all there are charities for that...right? For us to easily send our money direct-debit every month? This is a fabulous way to give, however I think we also need to be more connected with those we see around us. Into people, like Jesus was.

Go over say hi, spend half on hour of our day chatting to somebody new, that lost stranger that hungry homeless guy or whatever. Take them for a coffee or just sit and chat. Step out of our comfort zones, treat everyone as Jesus would and also as if they were Jesus.

I read on a wise friend of mines blog, about her trip to a lake. She was tossing pebbles and watching the ripples each one made. She remarked how this was like us. We are one, tiny pebble in the lake and may not seem that much but our actions have rippling effects on those we meet. After all it doesn't take much to give somebody half an hour of our time, £5 of our money to buy somebody a sandwich or £15 to buy somebody a gift. I'm not saying we should drop a few coins in the the next homesless persons hat we see, that's not what Matthew 25 says. It's about giving part of ourselves.

Next time that charity bag arrives on our doorstep dont give your old tatty clothes away give something you really treasure.

Next time you see some homeless guy don't ignore them, or patronisingly throw your loose change, take the time out to get to know somebody, share a meal with them.

Next time you see somebody who looks a bit lost, offer to give them a hand, even if you're in a rush.

I'm not saying I'm great at this I just reckon it's something more I/we could be doing. And as Bryan Adams reference becomes useful, everything we do, we do it for Him.

"...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, 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."  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.