“Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:37, 38, & 40).
Have you ever wondered who “the least of these” might be in your own life? I want to serve hungry and hurting people because I really want to serve Jesus himself. Instead of looking in the inner city or for the homeless on the street, I need to realize that every day I have the opportunity to serve the wild, whiny, or wonderful “least of these” in my own house.
When seeking to care for Jesus by serving those in need, the mission can be as close as the kitchen table.
Sometimes I think about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, his daily mercy for my sins, his gigantic creative power, and I want to do something big for Him, something really meaningful. But God tells us that we serve him when we do normal things for those who have common needs. This Scripture tells me that I can simply put breakfast on a table with a smile, and that by giving food to my hungry children I am serving Jesus Christ himself.
Can hanging clothes on the line, driving our kids to school, or bringing my husband’s lunch to the hospital be considered service directly for Christ? Why not?
Can my husband’s workday — seeing the same types of patients that he saw the day before — be a divine experience of caring for Jesus? Yes!
Can my kids go to school, try to relate to their Peruvian friends (although their Spanish is far from perfect), and call it an encounter with the Lord? You bet!
If I am treating my family members as if they are Jesus, I want to love them with generosity. I can give a long “good morning hug” to my daughter, put away my own project when my kids are telling me about their day, and extend grace when they’ve left all their craft supplies on the table again or forgotten the notebook they need for their homework. I can tell my tired husband to skip homework duties and rest a bit. I can imagine that an irrationally upset toddler is my chance to show compassion to Christ for the day.
I have tried to put this into practice, and I have found myself looking at my family in a fresh light.
By remembering the promise that the Lord receives my service as unto himself, I find new meaning in mundane tasks. Tonight, you and I can look around our kitchen table and thank God for Jesus, who is there in the “least of these.”
On their first date, Will suggested,”Let’s get married, have two boys and then two girls.” “And be missionaries,” Allison added. And that is what they did. High in the Peruvian Andes, a group of foreigners have come to live and work among the Quechua in the name of Christ. The Caire kids – David, Peter, Annie, and Sarah – attend Diospi Suyana Academy, where Allison teaches the English speakers’ class. Will practices family medicine at Hospital Diospi Suyana. They each need daily grace to do the work God has prepared in advance for them to do. You can follow their story at cairesinperu.com.