Christ the King Sunday
Truly I tell you just as you did it to one of the least of these you did it to me.
I’m sure you’re wondering about those little candles. This Sunday is about little things.
Like sheep, like shepherdess’, like little children. Like us.
This gospel is about judgment but really more about the end of things. Eschatology, a Biblical word about what God will do at the end of time. Look at the actions of both groups. Nothing big, no one running for office on a particular platform. Nothing about taking care of thousands of people. No, little acts of justice and kindness, mundane acts directed toward the less fortunate.
The Hebrew Scripture has many places like this. Take care of the less fortunate. Remember those who need your care.
The Quaker preacher, Parker Palmer, wrote about the time of a very deep depression.
Friends would come and go, often bringing food and conversation. Not that he didn’t appreciate all this, but what he craved most was their presence in silence. One friend came every week, sat on a stool opposite Parker and simply rubbed his feet. No words, just a small action. Parker does not write of all the good meals he had, but of the silent friend who came with a little offering.
Hence the candles. Tea lights, really. Not meant for burning all night long, but filling the room with a small light that actually makes a difference. And we are asked to be like these candles. Nothing big or fancy but be a light.
The story is told of one mans’ visit to Haiti. The people are desperately poor but most especially in Port-au-Prince. On a side street lived a woman named Ruth. She came from her native Wisconsin to work as a nurse in Haiti among the poor. Eventually she began collecting children off the streets, the abandoned ones, the mentally and physically handicapped little ones. About thirty or so live with Ruth and her workers
until they die for they have no where else to go. She saw a need and she has tried to do what she could.
Such are the sheep in this gospel. Seeing a need and doing something about it.
The goats saw the same need and did nothing. It’s not about being effective or changing our world. It’s about seeing and it’s about doing in the name of Jesus.
Nothing big, but whatever it is that we do it changes not only the person we are attending but it has the potential of changing ourselves. Light even that little tea light in a dark room and it will give just enough light to move around. Be a little tea light in someones’ life and they might very well be changed. A bottle of water to a thirsty mail person. A call to someone who has been on your mind and heart. A visit if possible
or a card sent. A sympathy card or a get well card. It’s small but meaningful. And it will give more meaning to this eschatological parable. Love of the other; care of the needy.
Small but great. Amen