The Judgment of the Nations
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Word of Lord
I really like the song. Thank you very much. Beautiful. Yeah. Today I’ll read the scripture I will not forget. Interesting thing is last week I forgot, and nobody notice that. Let us hear the word taken from Matthew 25:31-46. When the son of man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goals at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, come, you are blessed by my father. Inherit the kingdom, prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.
I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me nothing. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me. Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food or thirsty and give you something to drink? And when was it when we saw you a stranger and welcomed you or naked and gave you clothing. And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you? And the king will answer them. I think this is really the core passage, a core verse of this passage. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me. What does that mean? To one of the least of these were members of my family did it to me.
Then he will say to those that his left lefthand, you that are cursed, depart from me into eternal fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, for I was hungry and you gave me no food. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison, and you did not visit me. Then they will also answer, Lord, when was it when we saw you hungry or thirsty, or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and did not take care of you. Then he will answer them. Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me and these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. This is the word of the Lord.
As we reflected last week about the scripture, as we read in depth, they’re tremendous wisdom and insights and many times we don’t really read in depth and we are going to reflect on today. If you did it to one of these least ones, you did it to me. What does that mean? Caring for somebody is something we do. We all do. We all do take care of somebody. Sometimes aging parents, our children and people who need our help taking care of somebody is what we human beings do. It is a big part of our life. We cannot live without it.
At the Wednesday woman’s Bible study, we are studying the spirituality of caring and last week we were talking about how important it is to care for other people and I realized that our women’s group, they’re doing so much in taking care of people around them, their children, their spouse, their aging and ill parents and their family members who are sick. There are so busy caregiving, I think they are doing a wonderful job in caring for other people. So they were saying all the things that they were doing. And then I asked them who takes care of you? And I saw tears, some tears in their eyes. Who takes care of you? And they said caregiving can be quite lonely sometimes and I realized that caring for someone is not just what we do. Caring is not just what you do for people, it is about building a kind of relationship where we care for each other. It’s not what you do, but it is building a relationship where we care for each other in that relationship we give care, but sometimes we receive care from people, so when you take care of your children, when you give care for your children, don’t just give them what they need. Don’t just give care to them. You have to teach them how important it is to care for other people.
If one human being cannot learn what it means to care for others, then we don’t live out good human life. So as we take care of our children, we have to teach them, that’s` the basic, the most basic thing that we need to teach our children before any degree. We have to teach them to care for other people.
We need to create an environment where we all learn about caring and I realized that caring is not just an act. It’s not what you do. Caring is about being connected. When you take care of somebody, then you are connected deeply and intimately connected with that person. That’s what caring is. Caring is not just giving them bread and give them food. Caring is about being connected with a person that you care for. Saint Paul gave us this wisdom about being a Christian. He was talking about the marks of Christians and he said this, rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
He’s talking about deep connectedness. You’re so connected with a person. When the person rejoices, you rejoice with them. The person is in sadness and you weep with them. That’s what caring is. That’s what being connected means.
Maybe we are deeply connected with a person. We can feel for that person, both joy and pain. We can be with them in their struggle.
You know, we cannot always give caregivers. Sometimes we need to be care-receivers. There are times when we fall, times when we are down. There are times when we’re depressed. There are times when we are really, really sad and even there are times, so maybe you’re angry, nobody knows, but we are very angry. That’s when we need care from other people. We cannot always give, we cannot always be caregivers, sometimes and often we have no choice but to care receivers. When I receive care from people, I found something wonderful happens. Something mysterious happens. You know what that is?
We experience the divine presence. They receive care. We experience the divine presence. The person that I talked about last week, how many you found out? She’s Irene. She’s getting a surgery tomorrow. She still sends me email messages every day hearing each sermon. I think she went into last years sermons now and in one email she said, Reverend Kim, you visited me 20 years ago when I was in the hospital. At that time I received a new life through many people’s prayers and doctors, wisdom, and insights and all of this time I have lived with a thankful heart for the new life I’ve received. Then you know, 20 years later she got the same doctor who did her surgery 20 years ago now. He became a chief of that department and at that same doctor is taking care of her and is doing the surgery, and she said, now you visited me again.
God sent me many angels, including you. Thank you, she said, I think that was her divine moment. She was able to see angels around her. As we receive care, we also receive divine presence. That was what Jesus was talking about in today’s passage. Jesus said, for I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me, and the righteous said, when did I do that?
I only saw the hungry. I only saw the thirsty and the stranger and the naked and the sick and the prisoner. That’s all I see. I didn’t see you. You weren’t there! And Jesus was saying, of course, I was there. Of course, I was there.
Caring in Life
I was writing to the heart of those who are suffering almost in the heart of those who received care from you. So when you did it to the least of these, you did it to me because I was right there in their hearts. That’s what Jesus was saying. When I’m sad sometimes and somebody takes care of me by sharing my sadness, I experience Jesus right there through their caring heart. Last Wednesday I visited with Jane, a KSM member at the hospital. He is at the last stage of his life. He wasn’t fully conscious. He was coming in and out of his consciousness. So I went to him and, uh, besides his bed and I said to him, this is Reverend Kim, can you recognize me? And all of a sudden his face was brightened up and he
barely formed his mouth. But with his mouth, he said, thank you.
I’m sure Jesus was right there with him. Caring is not just doing mechanical action. We carry the divine presence in your care for the people who are in need. You don’t even have to talk about Jesus. We carry a divine presence. Verbal articulation is not needed, in caring.
When I was in university, I was kind of, you know, very hot for Jesus. Even now I’m hot for years, but I was hot and naively, I wanted to share about Jesus Christ. I wanted to tell them how much he loves you and all this stuff. So it was a Robart’s Library. I don’t know, maybe in the second year university, Robarts Library. I was in line. There was a copy machine at that time. They don’t have it anymore probably, I was waiting in line and there was a girl behind me, uh, and I wanted to say something to her. So, uh, I couldn’t really say that Jesus loves you and then she will look at me crazy. And so I told her, why don’t you go ahead? And then she’s, she was quite surprised and thank you, she said, and I said, by the way, I’m a Christian. Oh, I was so embarrassed.
You know, we don’t need, we don’t even have to say verbally. Our heart does not have sound, but our heart is louder than what we say with our mouth. It’s not the amount of how much you do for that person, but it is the thought that counts. It is a thought that counts. It is your heart that moves them. It is your attitude. If your heart is communicated, the person will receive deep care from you because you are connected.
You know one thing great about Jesus is that he was only a 30-year-old kid. I’m sorry, what do 30-year-old know? He was a kid, and yet he knew exactly what was going on in people’s heart. He knew exactly what was going on in Nicodemus’ heart. He knew exactly what was going on in Samaritan woman’s heart. Jesus was able to see what was in people’s heart. That is so hard, isn’t it? You don’t know what that person’s heart. You don’t know what your parents are going through. You know what your children are going through. You don’t know what other people are going through around you. It is hard to know what’s going on in people’s hearts, but I believe we can do it.
I believe that it will get better as we pay attention to them with a caring heart. When we have a caring heart, I think we can do that. Isn’t that the depth of a person?
The greatness of a person is not how much money you have or what kind of career you have. The depth of the greatness of the person is how much that person knows you, deep inside the person who was able to do that is a great person. The person who was successful, that’s I will measure success.
When I talk to some people, somehow they know my heart and then I look at them. How do you know me?
With the depth of our compassion,
We are able to see what’s in people’s heart and then we can be connected with them. Those who are on the right-hand side of the king saw the needs of the people very clearly, but the ones on the left cannot see anything. My friends, “I don’t care” is the worst thing you can say. I’m angry is so much better than “I don’t care”. By saying “I don’t care”, we are killing our spirit. I think I don’t care is the most severe punishment you can give. Maybe that’s why we use that quite often because when we’re angry, we want to give the most severe punishment to that person, but let us not use that. Let’s not do that. I don’t care is the worst thing we can say to anyone. The people on King’s lefthand had this “I don’t care” attitude. That’s why they cannot see anything, any need. They cannot see the prisoner. They can not see the naked. They cannot see a foreigner, stranger, but this “I don’t care” attitude is what I see a lot in our world. That’s how the world, how our world is operating. It’s so sad and we shouldn’t be angry that our role has become like that. We should fight against that. I don’t care is not the right attitude to live your life with. Of course, we have to care for the poor, for the sick, for the people who are suffering. Of course, we have to care. In this world, they simply don’t care about others. Even though caring life is the most basic thing we human beings do, they don’t seem to be able to carry out.
That’s a simple thing. It is sad. Caring is the most beautiful thing that you can give and you can receive. Without knowing the art of caring. We simply cannot enjoy the beauty of living. You’re living in a fragmented world. People are not at all connected. We need to be in touch with people, especially people with suffering and we pray for them. Ecuador, Japan, and other places. Hundreds of people die, but it’s just numbers. Hundreds, hundreds of people, but around hundreds of people, how many family members are crying right now? How many people are suffering right now because of that loss?
By taking on their pain, we can help their burdens lightened and it’ll be much easier for them to handle their problems. Isn’t that what we experience with our burdens are so heavy and somebody comes and take away a little bit off our burdens and our lightened and we are able to handle that, handle all problems. We need to build a caring community where we are connected. That’s a true community. A community is not gathering up people. The community is gathering of connected people. That’s what spiritual community is all about. That is the depth of community. This materialistic world cannot give that. It replaces this deep community, with the shallow community such as social media. Through social media, you cannot be healed. Let us learn to care for one another. That’s what Jesus taught us. That’s what we human beings should learn to do. Let us sing.