“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.’”
Matthew 25:34–40 (NIV)
In Matthew 25, Jesus talks about who will inherit the kingdom. At first, this seems like a fairly simple list. Donate to the food bank, drop off some of your old clothes to Goodwill, bring some flowers to your friend who’s sick, and you’re good to go. However, what is often overlooked is how hard it can be to continually do what Jesus has asked. When what is easy is at odds with what is right, we often forget what it means to be a Christian: to help those most vulnerable in the world.
Climate change means and will continue to mean more natural disasters. In times when disasters feel so far from our own homes, we forget that Jesus calls us to love everyone despite their gender, race, age, political ideologies or region of the world. With humanitarian crises around the globe, some of our neighbors have to flee to other countries in need of exactly what Jesus has called us to provide. Often we have failed to fully welcome our neighbors. Limited resources and the overwhelming numbers impede our call to hospitality. Yes, it is in these very situations that the Prince of Peace has called us to be his hands and be of service to the world. As the world changes, may our commitment to follow Christ be unwavering.
Action: Do what is right, not what is easy.
Prayer: Today, we pray for those who have lost friends, family members and loved ones to the violence of war. With bomb sirens crying by the hour and buildings now rubble at their feet, we pray your love is shown to them through us, Lord, as they attempt to rebuild a new life. We ask you to empower us to be your helping hands at such a dire time despite our inconveniences, indecisiveness and shortcomings. We pray you give us the strength and courage to actively aid and welcome those displaced by war. Allow peace to spread through our hearts, bodies and minds as we know you are with us, now and forever. Amen.
Christian Kasten is a recent graduate of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. He currently is a political science major at the University of Missouri. He plays chess, coaches soccer and spends much of his summers as a counselor at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center.
This year’s Path of Peace reflections are designed to help participants explore peacemaking efforts addressing some of the major issues of our time. The theme for the 29 days of the 2022 A Season of Peace is Led Forth in Peace: Critical Areas of Engagement for Peacemakers. With these daily reflections, we are invited to reflect upon ways to practice peace by engaging the following critical areas:
- Climate change
- The intersection of poverty and racism