The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, October 13, 2023, was written by Tomeka B. Scales of Maryland.
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. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then 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; 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.’ Matthew 25:31-40 NRSV
One day I stopped into a store to buy a birthday gift for someone, and I saw a man asking customers for change. Many people passed by him and ignored his pleas for assistance. I keep a few care packages in my car, so I decided to give one to him. When I struck up a conversation with the man, I learned a lot about him. But most important, I learned that what he needed was a listening ear.
God calls us to be light for others. Even something as small as a conversation can make a world of difference to the lonely and brokenhearted. Today's scripture reading reminds us that God is pleased when we lend a helping hand. Our good deeds reflect a grateful heart, and our acts of service and compassion for others point to our relationship with God. We become love in action when we are able to recognize and meet the needs of others. How can we show others that God lives within us and that God can live within them too?
Pastor Anthony's Thoughts
John 13:15-16 NIV states: "15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them." Christ has set an example for how we should treat one another. As people of faith, though it is often challenging, Christ expects that we will follow his example. Christ calls us to help without anticipation or need of reward, to be compassionate when no one is watching, and to be conduits of hope for those overwhelmed by hopelessness. Christ calls us to peer past the veils and masks others wear, so that we might see them as Christ sees them. As Tameka's reflection highlights: "God calls us to be light for others. Even something as small as a conversation can make a world of difference to the lonely and brokenhearted." May we all choose to set our hearts ablaze becoming a beacon for others to find Christ.
Gracious God, may we become love in action through our compassion and care for all your children. Help us to give and receive your love with humility and grace. Amen.