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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Matthew 25, Modernized

A while back, I shared these thoughts with my church.


It is interesting that there are two sermons on mounts that bookend Jesus' ministry.  The classic sermon on the mount really launches he teaching,  But just before the cross, there is a sermon on the Mount of Olives that seems to build higher and higher as he draws his listeners in.  In chapter 24, he starts getting his listeners ready to think of ends and being prepared for judgement.  Then in chapter 25, he starts on a series of parables that each dig deeper.  The parable of the Bridesmaids is pushing them to be ready.  The parable of the talents goes deeper, saying in effect that its not enough to just don't do anything wrong.  Instead, success is found in also doing things (the work of the Father) right.  Sin avoidance isn't enough.  But then in verse 31, he raises the bar by fleshing out a bit of what the Father wants.  This seems to be the culmination of his teaching ministry.  So a couple of years ago, I worked up a rough approximation of what I think he may say today (in addition to the topic in the original teaching).


Here's a possible update of Matthew 25:



Verses 35 and 36
I was lonely, and you befriended me,
I was born into a cycle of poverty, violence, and despair and you invested your life in me and brought me out,
I was born in a fragile land and you taught us how to care for it,
I was abused and you stood with me,
I was born under an oppressive government and you fought your governments support of it and stood with me,
I was born in a violent land and you stood with me for peace,
I needed work and you sent fair labor,
I walked the mountains and you joined me to enjoy God's beauty,
I was sick and poor and you lobbied to provide insurance to save me,
I moved into your neighborhood and you welcomed me,
I was broken and you asked how you could help me today.



And the king would respond to those sent away:
I was lonely, and you only had time for your TV,
I was born into a cycle of poverty, violence, and despair and you avoided me,
I was born in a fragile land and your pollution destroyed my home and brought famine and drought,
I was abused and you looked the other way,
I was born under an oppressive government and yours supported it further your fortunes,
I was born in a violent land and you brought war,
I needed work and you supported sweatshop labor,
I walked the mountains and you stripped to tops of them to fuel your lifestyle,
I was sick and poor and you left me to die in an overcrowded emergency room,
I moved into your neighborhood and you moved out,
I was broken and you said that all will be better in heaven.

"Whatever you did to the least of these..."

1 comment:

  1. Here is link to some talks that I found helpful.

    http://www.biola.edu/spiritualformation/lecture/

    Dan

    ReplyDelete