“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:34-40 ESV)
These words from our Lord echo his response when he was asked by a Pharisee lawyer in Matthew 22:36 to identify the greatest commandment. He linked the command to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind to the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. The implication in both passages is that our treatment of others, especially the least fortunate among us, is the measure of our love for and dedication to Christ.
It is a great reminder in this Christmas season, as we reflect on all the blessings God has lavished upon us, none greater than the gift of his Son, that we are called to be a channel of those blessings, rather than a reservoir.
“We never know how God will answer our prayers, but we can expect that he will get us involved in his plan for the answer. If we are true intercessors, we must be ready to take part in God’s work on behalf of the people for whom we pray.” – Corrie ten Boom