The gospel reading for the last Sunday of the year is a highly illustrative parable: The Last Judgement. All the nations are gathered before God for the final judgement. God does not judge us by our housing or how much money we have or the conditions of our clothes or the kind of cars we drive. The judgement comes like this. Did we care for people? Did we feed the hungry? Did we visit the sick? Did we offer clothing to the naked? Did we visit the down and out and the prisoners?
This week, the Parable of the Last Judgement hit home. I was walking down the sidewalk over by Uptown. I noticed a biker had gotten off his bike to help a woman in a wheelchair stuck in a snow bank. He pushed her free into a no parking zone on the side of a busy street. He thought the woman could maneuver by herself. The biker left. Then the woman in the wheelchair got stuck in a snow bank. I walked into the street, pushed her wheelchair free for five yards and we got stuck. Suddenly, a car pulled over. Two people got out and the three of us pushed the wheelchair onto the sidewalk. I thanked them.
God does not judge us by our housing or how much money we have or the conditions of our clothes or the kind of cars we drive. The judgement comes like this. Did we care for people? Did we feed the hungry? Did we visit the sick? Did we offer clothing to the naked? Did we visit the down and out and the prisoners?
I tried to wheel the chair over an alley snowbank and we got stuck again. Two young men walking down the sidewalk helped us get the wheelchair out of the drift. They walked her to her destination.
Afterwards I thought about what happened. All of these actions by six strangers were UNCALCULATING HELP. I am not after compliments – it doesn’t work that way.
THE UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH OF UNCALCULATING HELP IS THAT IT IS GIVEN TO JESUS HIMSELF. I could not stand still. This parable stuck with me all week. Where will you go into a new year?
“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
Read: Matthew 25:31-46
Dan Schmiechen is a retired minister and member of Linden Hills United Church of Christ.
Let the Scriptures Speak
Buy An Understandable Bible Translation: Speak to Pastors Eliot and Lawrence for recommendations.
Church Year: First Sunday after Christmas, the birthday of Jesus into the world.
Daily Scripture Reading: *Choose time of day *Choose a quiet place *Light a candle (symbol of God’s presence) *Begin with a prayer (Open my heart to your Word, O God.” *Close with a prayer (May your presence be with me today.”
In Conversation with Scripture: The Bible is filled with a variety of writings. A few examples – poetry (Psalms); history (Joshua and judges); prophets (Joel, Isaiah, Micah); Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John); the early Christian Church (Paul’s Letters) and end times (Revelation). It is helpful to know what type of writings you are reading. Again, check background information in your Bible.
Spiritual Practice: *When you read scripture, what word/thought comes to your attention)? *What do these words say to you? *What do you hear God saying to you?
Bible Readings For The Week: Sunday, January 1 Matthew 1:18-25; Monday, January 2 John 6:35-42 48-51; Tuesday, January 3 John 10:7-17; Wednesday, January 4 John 14:6-14; Thursday, January 5 John 15:1-6; Friday, January 6 John 2:1-11; Saturday, January 7 John 3:31-36. Say your own prayers.