WARNING: STARR IS ON A SOAPBOX AND THIS POST IS LOOOOONG 🙂
Thursday, Nov 20 – Daily Interrupted Challenge
Create a “Wish List” with your family
Keep it simple. Take 5 minutes with your family today – maybe while eating dinner or riding down the road – come up with a list of ideas for how your family can serve “the least of these” before the end of the year. Big or small ways. Brainstorm a list of ideas. Let everyone contribute and speak up. You don’t have to tackle all of the ideas. You can choose as a family which ones to work on first.
Here’s a few simple ideas (links to various organizations mentioned included):
- Gather extra blankets/coats & drop them off at the homeless shelter or pregnancy center
- Serve a meal at the homeless shelter
- Pack a shoebox to send overseas with >>Operation Christmas Child<<
- Take dinner to a family or person in need
- Invite someone that needs a friend to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner
- Visit a nursing home and hand out Thanksgiving cards or sing Christmas carols
- Write letters to the soldiers serving our great Country
- Take a military family out to dinner or invite them to your house
- Sponsor a >>Prison Fellowship Angel Tree<< child for the Christmas Season (Children of Prisoners)
- Buy a chicken, duck, or goat for a World Vision family (you can SERIOUSLY do this for <$100 >>visit the World Vision website<<)
- Invite someone that can’t drive out to ride around and see the Christmas lights with your family
You pick. The opportunities are endless. Do 1 thing. Do 10 things. Don’t be tempted to over complicate this and then get overwhelmed because you don’t have the time or resources. Do what you can. Get everyone involved. Do something.
Goal: Start brainstorming today and do what you can before the end of the year. Keep the list on your refrigerator so everyone remembers the goal.
Day 26: Sheep & Goats
If you haven’t read through Matthew Chapter 25 entirely, I would highly encourage you to stop right now and do that. And if you haven’t read it in a different translation than what you normally read, do that too.
A word about translations: I’ve found that I love reading certain passages in the Message or New Living Translation. Sometimes I will read the same passage in 2-3 different translations just to get different perspectives. I use the free Bible App on my phone most often, but I also like to use BibleGateway.com to compare different versions side by side.
I appreciate how Jen points out to us that these detailed instructions and teachings from Jesus are top priority – it is His final week on earth. This tells us that we should absolutely pay attention to what He is saying, ya think?
What do you think about when you see these words:
Hungry: do we see a person standing on the corner holding a sign that might not be legit, or a child coming to school that hasn’t eaten a single thing since lunch yesterday?
Thirsty: do we see a drunk addict that wasted everything on booze, or someone so parched that they are searching for living water?
Stranger: do we see weird people that we avoid talking to, or do we invite the neighbors over for dinner taking a risk that they will actually be crazy?
Clothes: do we just toss our leftovers into the Goodwill pile, or do we purposefully package clothes and put them into the hands of those around us that have a need? Btw: Start asking. The needs are very real and they are very much near you.
Sick: do we add the sick to our prayer chain, or do we surround them with support, meals, phone calls, cards, hospital & nursing home visits?
Prison: do we think that this one is for somebody else that feels “called” to the prison ministry, or do we get out of our comfort zone and try it at least once to see what happens when we fully relying on God?
STOP IT RIGHT NOW.
Now I know you’re probably thinking, “Not everyone feels called to do all of these things, Starr!”
I absolutely realize there are other ways God uses individuals to reach the lost and those in need.
But y’all – I can’t help but ask this one question, “Are we allowed to ignore these instructions and teachings completely and still call ourselves followers of Christ?”
How on earth can we justify that these problems are for someone with more money and more time and just turn our heads?
Full honest disclosure: all of the examples above are thoughts that I’ve had when thinking about the sick or the prisoners or the hungry. Too many times I’ve been comfortable thinking those that are “called” to take care of these problems, will. Isn’t that what non-profit organizations are for? I’ll just handle what I’m called to do: lead worship/choir & children’s church.
What a load of crap.
How can I ignore the real needs? I simply can’t anymore.
I’m preaching to myself today more than ever and please don’t feel for one minute that I’m pointing fingers at anyone else. I’ve never thought about how these instructions from Jesus weren’t just for the disciples – the instructions were for me.
I think I’ve said enough for today.
What do you think about the instructions and teachings of Jesus in Matthew 25?
What do these words of “the least of these” mean to you?
How do you make a place for addressing them in your life?
Please tell me I’m not the only selfish one that is struggling with this.
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