Aug 27, 2017

Devotion - 27 August - You Did Not Visit Me!

A brief prayer is offered that you can add to your daily prayers this week. The scripture is from our Sunday Service Bulletin. Today’s service featured three testimonials from people involved in the Kairos Prison Ministry [please see: www.kairosprisonministry.org]. Their mission is “share the transforming love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to impact the hearts and lives of incarcerated men, women, and youth as well as their families, to become loving and productive citizens of their communities.”
Gospel Reading- Matthew 25:41-46
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Devotion: You did not Visit Me
The testimonials today emphasized that not only does the Kairos prison ministry uplift the people who are behind bars and some of the corrections people who work there but also the Christians conducting the ministry. I think the idea of a prisoner realizing that there is living God who loves you and is always with you must be a powerful means to counter some of the negatives of a time of incarceration. Then, prisoners realizing that there are people of faith sent by God who don’t know you but yet came to prison to provide help and comfort, must be an awesome feeling. Now, I’d like to briefly talk about verse 44 in our Gospel text today. I believe Jesus is telling them in a way that, sure you helped me – I am your Lord. But you ignored the “little people” and that is the same as ignoring Me. In this verse, we have two categories of adversities:  physical needs [hungry, thirsty, ill] and social deprivation [stranger, naked, in prison]. The first condition would require acts of mercy, the second would require charity. Those who address these situations and attempt to help are following God’s example. Those who ignore these opportunities for Christian acts of kindness are in danger of eternal condemnation.

We pray: “Lord help us recognize personal opportunities for Christian acts of love. Give us strength to boldly act as you have commanded. Amen”