Richard Stearns, President & CEO of WorldVision, challenges all Christians to live up to their biblical responsibility to “the least of these.” The following is a powerful exerpt from his book The Hole in Our Gospel:
Surely this is another one of those passages that would be easy to cut from our Bibles. We would much rather believe that the only things needed for our salvation are saying the right words and believing the right things--not living lives that are characterized by Christ’s concern for the poor. Why is this passage so sobering for us to read in the twenty-first century? Might it be that it hits us very close to home? Let me take some liberties and paraphrase these verses for today’s reader:
For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but
you drank bottled water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me
deported. I needed clothes, but you needed more clothes. I was
sick, and you pointed out the behaviors that led to my sickness.
I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I deserved.
If we are honest, our response to the poor might sometimes be better described by this irreverent version. Whatever the case, Christ’s words in this passage cannot be dismissed out of hand. We have to face their implications no matter how disquieting. God has clear expectations for those who choose to follow Him.
-Richard Stearns, The Hole In Our Gospel (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc, 2009) p.59
What are your thoughts? Please share them with us!