35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37 Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40 And the king will answer them, “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.” (Matt. 25:35-40)
Today is the first Monday in the period that Christians call Lent. Lent is six weeks to prepare for Easter, six weeks to get ready to welcome Jesus as our saviour and celebrate his victory over death and evil. One way to prepare is to get our priorities right, to start to think more like our saviour and to take action.
Let’s look at today’s reading; who are these members of the king’s family that we are encouraged here to care for? Why, they are those members of our own society that are least valued. Read that list again: There are the families who have to use the food bank, as the kitchen cupboard is bare and the Universal Credit payment is late. There are the homeless guys and girls on the street corner. There is the lonely and ill neighbour who could do with some help and the prisoner who has no visitors on a Sunday. So, how is it going?
I am not just asking you who are reading this, I’m just as much asking myself. Together we could use these next six weeks to make a difference, however small, to someone’s life. He who is asking us is after all the King! How could we possibly say no?