“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message)
A Word of Hope
“What I Have to Offer”
You need not live in Texas long to learn that Texas’ weather can be strong stuff. Hurricanes, tornadoes, dust storms, hail storms, ice storms, snow storms and thunder storms—to name a few. Some seem almost on the scale of science-fiction than actual fact. Were some cosmic, time-warp storm ever to occur (and this is Texas so I’m not saying it can’t happen) and I got swept into the vortex, dragged back to the first century and transformed into a Roman soldier, I would want to be a soldier like Martin of Tours.
William Barclay, the great Scottish biblical scholar, reports that Martin of Tours was a Roman soldier who was also a Christian. According to an ancient story, Martin was entering a large city on a cold, blustery day when he passed a beggar who was begging for alms. The soldier had no money, but he saw that the man was shivering from the cold and so he gave him what he had. He took off his soldier’s cloak, which had become worn and frayed, cut it in two and gave half of it to the man. That night, Martin had a dream. His dream took him to a heavenly place where he saw countless angels. As the crowd of angels parted, he saw Jesus, standing there in half of a soldier’s coat. One of the angels inquired of Jesus, “Lord, why are you wearing that battered cloak? Who gave it to you?” Jesus answered softly, “My servant, Martin, gave it to me.” (William Barclay. “The Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Matthew.” Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press)
I have never had a million dollars in my bank account, but I cannot recall a time when I have not been wealthy in blessings. I may not be able to do everything to help a hurting world, but I can do something. I have sometimes thought that what I have to offer doesn’t matter that much, but I now know that it can mean the world to someone I may never know.
Being Christian is to bear witness to Christ’s love, mercy and fidelity, and in doing so we draw closer to the Christ we seek to know.
This Lent, O God, may I re-evaluate who I am and what I have to offer as a person who bears the name, Christian. Amen.
Rev. Gary G. Kindley, D.Min.