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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Matthew 25:31-46

Someone shared this story on Facebook this morning and I felt a need to do the same, here, for many reasons. I am far from religious, but I certainly have a great respect for humanity and this story spoke to me. But, before I post it, I want to share something with you first.

Years ago I went out for dinner and, as usual, had far too much food in front of me. I ate about half of what I had ordered and asked for the rest of the meal to go. As I was walking down the street it dawned on me that I really did not feel like carrying this bag of food around with me for the rest of the night, especially not on the metro and bus going home. So, I found a trashcan and was about to throw it out when I spotted a homeless man out of the corner of my eye and in that moment I had an epiphany... I hate leftovers! In fact, when I have them I usually end up throwing them away the next day. So, what if instead of taking my food to go and throwing it out I gave it to someone who needed it? And that is what I did that day and have done ever since. I am not sure how he felt about leftover Calamari and pasta but it would suit me fine! Think about it… food for thought!

Anyhow, on to the story… It seems that this whole thing may be a work of fiction or a compilation of true stories sewn together – but whatever it is, the message it illustrates is important… 

Church Members Mistreat Homeless Man in Church Unaware It Is Their Pastor in Disguise (no original source - sorry)

Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured below) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food - NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit n the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. "We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek." The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him. He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited,

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

'The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame. He then said, "Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?"

He then dismissed service until next week.

Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It's something you live by and share with others.