Compassion Freely Given: You Did It To Me

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  • Lent 2018: Compassion

Compassion Freely Given: You Did It To Me

Open Your Eyes: You-did-it-to-me.

People often asked Mother Teresa why she loved the poor so much and how she could honor them with dignity despite their difficult situations. Her response was simple, “You-did-it-to-me.”   She was alluding to Matthew 25 where Jesus teaches about the final judgment.  In that text, Jesus explains that we will be judge by our compassion.  By “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.” But in the passage, the surprised listeners ask, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink?” Jesus replies, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

For years I found excuse after excuse on why I could not go with my friends on a Mission trip to Honduras.   That all changed 7 years ago.  I am thankful God took away my excuses.

I went to Honduras thinking I was going to be in service.  What I soon learned that I was the one being served.  For three and a half days, Monday-Thursday morning, I worked side by side mixing concrete, pouring floors, and building latrines with two young ladies and three men from a remote village our church was supporting.  It was hard but good work.   My Spanish was very weak despite more than 5 years of schooling and my new friends spoke even less English.  But before you knew it we started to speak another language, the language of Love.  By the end of our four days together we knew each other’s children’s names, their ages, spouse’s names, each other dreams, and so much more.

When Thursday afternoon came, we had a party. The kids in the village love it, but not so much for me and my new friends.  We knew it would soon be the time to say good bye.  As the party came to a close and our leader was herding us back on the bus, my new friends and I hugged each other and cried.  I am so thankful that God placed them in my life.

During that trip I began to understood why my friends told me I needed to do this.  You do too.  This is Matthew 25.  God knows that we need this.  Our hearts need it.  Please don’t make the same mistake I did and try to wait for the perfect time because it will never come.  I am certain that if I would have participated in this kind of service sooner I would have been a better parent and a more faithful servant. We are wired for this.

Call to Action:  Sign up for a mission trip.  Support PRUMC’s Prison Ministry.

Prayer:  Father, thank you for PRUMC.  Our church provides us so many ways to strengthen our faith through worship, prayer, study, and service.  Let our light shine.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Romans 4:13-25
Friday March 2, 2018
Ed Hamlin

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