Matthew 25:35-40 (ESV) For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Every morning before the sun comes up, I am in the kitchen making lunches for my husband and daughter. This used to be a much larger endeavor when everyone was still living at home and in school. Our youngest daughter is a “snacker”. She doesn’t eat large meals but eats a little bit throughout the day. Her lunch is comprised of many small snacks and a sandwich. Variety is the spice of life and getting her to eat something. I have been told that not many moms make their kids lunches anymore. My daughter doesn’t realize that she is blessed and most days, if I don’t put it in her backpack, will forget it. On several occasions, she has shared that she gives her friends food from her great supply telling me who likes what etc. The other day, she asked me if I put honey on her peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I said, “No, I use honey wheat bread.” She had given her sandwich to a friend who loved it and wanted to know how it was prepared. Many of these same girls will visit our home and pantry often since they have already sampled the goods. Today, as I pulled the jelly from the fridge, it hit me. This is a lunchbox ministry.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
I know my daughter doesn’t eat everything that I send but there is hardly ever more than a wrapper and half-consumed bottle of water left. She is sharing her lunch with others. By doing so, she is representing Jesus without even realizing it. Her compassion for others who do not bring a lunch is evidence of Christ in her. The Lord tells us “for I was hungry and you gave me food.” Could it be that in our pursuit of service and greater good that the most simplistic means of communicating God’s Love is often missed? I am quite certain upon reading this, someone might get an idea to pack lunches for all the children in the school for mass distribution. That’s not what this is about. It is about a group of kids sharing a lunch and eating together. It is about relationship and interaction. The Kingdom is built by relationships and interactions. First, our relationship to the Father through the Son. Then, building the family by joining our lives with others in relationship. Climbing the righteous ladder of godliness cannot be effectively accomplished apart from Jesus and His Command to “love one another”. As believers, have we made it too hard to follow our footsteps by not leaving any bread crumbs behind? I believe that goodness and kindness is most profound in simplistic form. Jesus is not difficult to find or hard to reach. In fact, the invitation is “whosoever will let them come.”
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” (Revelation 3:20)
The invitation of Jesus is so easy. If you hear me knocking, open the door because I want to eat with you. Have communion with you. Sit and visit with you. Engage in a relationship with you. I love to sit at the table with our family for an evening meal. To sit and push food around my plate listening to our children share all the details of their day. It is truly a blessing to have them with us. Why present a gospel that is not representative of Jesus Christ? Kingdom is family. It is living, breathing, eating, drinking, working, serving, and worshipping together. Could it be as simple and easy as sharing a lunchbox in a crowded cafeteria? Yes, it can.
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
Oh how complicated people can be. Setting careful boundaries in relationships are important unless those barriers become strongholds. You cannot effectively minister as Ambassadors of Christ without interaction with others. You cannot preach the message of Good News behind a pulpit – it is how you live each day. Worship is a life expression put to the melody of God in our heart. The greatest message ever spoken was not with words but in our heartfelt actions when no one is watching. Sharing the Love of God is not something we do but a product of a heart transformed by God.
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Simple and random acts of kindness. Sharing God’s Goodness in a palatable way. The Holy Spirit is more than capable of convicting, instructing, guiding, urging, nudging and changing the person. It is our responsibility to make the introduction. The Love of God is all-consuming. The Grace of God more than enough. The Goodness of God is worth having. We serve a good Father. We are His Children. It is up to us to live an open invitation to “taste and see” that the Lord is good! For as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers (and sisters) you did it to me. What kind of simple ministry do you have? One of mine is the lunchbox ministry creating an opportunity for my daughter to interact with the Kingdom each day. Letting her little light shine to others in caring generosity. What is yours?