The Judgement of the Nations – Matthew 25: 31-40
31 ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35for 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, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then 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? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 40And 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.”
John Martin paraphrased verses 35- 40 from this Bible passage:
For I was hungry and you volunteered for Crisis at Christmas, read with a teenager who constantly disrupted the class because he starved for attention, regularly took a single mum- off her tether looking after three young children – to the supermarket.
I was thirsty and you supported projects removing arsenic from water supplies in Bangladesh and gave generously to support the mission partners doing this work.
I needed clothes; you culled your wardrobe, mended and dry cleaned, and added new socks and underwear for a local clothing appeal. You made friends with the women’s shelter and ran a whip-round when they needed toiletries. You gave your spare coat to a homeless man.
I was new: a stranger; you introduced me to people in the neighbourhood. You walked me and my children to the school gate on the first day of term. You told me the best places to shop, where to find the dentist ad how to sign up for the doctor’s surgery.
I was sick with swine flu and you brought in hot food, did my washing and took my children to school.
I was in prison and you joined the support group for prisoners’ families. I was in prison because I spoke little English; you gave of your time so I could practice English conversation.
I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did it for me.
Almighty god, whose Son Jesus Christ taught us that to serve the least of our brothers and sisters is to serve him: we give you thanks that people like Simon of Cyrene were there to help Jesus our Lord to carry his cross, and we ask you to grant us compassion like his and a ready willingness to swerve the weak and helpless as though we are serving Jesus. Amen.
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