Friday, November 21, 2008
Reading Ahead -- Feast of Christ the King
In this week's gospel reading, we end the church year with the last parable Jesus tells before his passion and death (in Matthew's gospel, anyway. This parable only appears in Matthew.)
The parable of the sheep and goats makes it very clear that it is not "believing" in Jesus that wins one eternal fellowship with the Lord. It is ministering to Jesus in his least obvious and most prevalent form ... those who are hungry, sick, thirsty, a prisoner, a stranger, naked. It is not what we THINK about religion that matters. It is what we do with it.
I visited an elderly gentleman once who was near death. "I've been thinking a lot about my life," he said. "I am really sorry that I didn't spend more time with people and less time trying to get ahead.
"I am most sorry that I spent all this time thinking about my religion, and not enough time living it," he sighed.
I was struck to the quick by that statement. It sounds like something you'd read in a book of sermon illustrations, and here was a real person saying this sad thing, with no time left in his life to do any differently than he had done.
Life is short, and we do not have too much time ...