Sheep, Goats, and Giving
Have you ever noticed how certain Bible passages mean more to you than they used to? It’s like a light bulb finally goes off in your head, or your heart is finally soft enough to respond to the truth. Or maybe a new life experience allows you to empathize or relate to something that has beforehand been foreign to you. Now…you get it!
The parable of the sheep and goats in Matthew 25 is one of those passages for me.
In this story (feel free to reread it if it helps) we see that Jesus describes the final judgment in surprising terms. Not in terms of faith in Christ, or praying a sinner’s prayer, but going to heaven or hell on the basis of acting justly or not (sounds a bit heretical, doesn’t it?). But we’ll talk more about that at a later date…
What I want us to focus on now is the idea of ministering to the needy around us. Jesus reminds us in this passage (vv. 35-36) that there are a lot of needs out there! But the good news is that Christ Community is actively meeting many of these needs through our Third and Fourth Place partnerships.
Here is the list of hands-on ministries that Jesus shares in his parable, and some of the ministries that we are partnering with to help meet these needs:
- Feeding the hungry (Ames Housewarming)
- Providing needed water (Danny Beams and Agua Yaku in Bolivia)
- Welcoming the stranger (our many International Care ministries)
- Clothing the naked (Overflow)
- Visiting the sick and imprisoned (Matthew 25 House and Butterfly Freedom House)
By your giving to our general fund, we are able to provide needed financial support so these ministries can make a difference in people’s lives. And in these days of pandemic, your regular and sacrificial gifts to meet these physical needs mean much to each recipient and to the King! (In fact, in this parable they seem to be one and the same!) So thanks for giving!
And even better yet, some of you are “in the fray,” so to speak. Many of you are serving vocationally or as volunteers in one of these or other related ministries. But we’ll talk more about serving with empathy and compassion in another article to come… So thanks for serving!
Next week I will be connecting with our friend Kevin Geis about Matthew 25 House. I’m looking forward to my time with him and all I will learn. See you then!