Greetings St. John’s Lutheran Church!
Then the righteous will answer [the king], “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” 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.”
The New Year Approaches!
On November 19th, we celebrate Christ the King, the final Sunday in the liturgical year before the New Year begins in Advent.
What better way to mark the year’s end than to hear a story about reflecting on our past deeds? In the parable of the sheep and the goats, we hear a story about how God’s presence is found in the very people who are considered less than, who are excluded, who are scorned: the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned.
Who are these people today? These people live in our communities, work with us, and worship with us:
• people who use food stamps and still cannot get enough food;
• people who don’t have access to clean water because of pollution;
• people, like refugees and immigrants, who are seeking a safe haven;
• people who cannot afford to wash or buy new clothes;
• people who suffer from mental illness or addiction and are estranged from family;
• people, like our black brothers and sisters, who receive longer prison sentences.
How have we treated these people in the past year? Have we played the part of the caring sheep, or have we played the part of the selfish goats?
This past month, we witnessed the harsh reality of hatred and racism in our midst when Quakertown community members harassed students from Cheltenham with
hateful and racist language at a high school football game. Regardless of whether we were there, we can respond.
How will we show our neighbors that hatred and racism is not to be tolerated? How will we create a community of love and acceptance? As your pastor, I am committed to entering this struggle by your side as we step into the New Year.
The New Year is not a time to shed the past but to be transformed by it. It’s a time to live life more fully, to embrace a kind of living that cares for the very least of our neighbors with love.
In Christ, Pastor Kat