Today’s Gospel reading in Matthew 25:31-46 is Jesus’ last major teaching before he goes to the last supper, his betrayal and his death. In other words, take it seriously! It concerns the Christian life of service and mercy, and the way we will be judged for it. Jesus here points back to where his teaching began way back in the sermon on the mount: ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy’ (Matthew 5:7). He also reminds us that he will reassure us that those of us who showed acts of mercy – helping the hungry and thirsty, helping the stranger, clothing those in need and visiting those in prison – is something we did for Jesus himself. As ever, be encouraged in your Gospel service of him. Prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to direct you in what changes you need to make. Know that Christ walks with you as you do. And look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
November 23, 2017 Pastor Matt Bishop