How Do You Win This Game? (Christ, Heart of the Universe)

Jesus continued, “Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me you did it to me’”. (Matthew 25: 37 – 40)

Some kids are sitting around a board game and one of them is reading the instructions. The rules are quite elaborate and confusing. Finally, one of them says, “Can anyone just tell me know you win this game?”

That’s the question someone must have asked Jesus when he went into his discourse about the sheep and the goats. People have heard him preach about the closeness of God, the availability of forgiveness, and the invitation to abundant life. They were eager to get involved but were still confused. And so the question came, “What are the rules by which we will be judged?”

And Jesus made it clear. It wasn’t the one who could build the biggest temple, or make the biggest sacrifice, or perform the purest religious acts that would gain entry into the kingdom. Instead it was those who would unselfconsciously feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and tend to the sick who would enter the kingdom. This is good news for parents. We do these activities on a daily basis. Next time you’re struggling to get your toddler into a jump-suit, or giving your sick child a cup of cold water in the middle of the night, or trying to find something nutritious for your picky eater, remember the words of Jesus, “Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me”.

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