Scripture in Text
Word of the Lord
Let us hear the word of the Lord Matthew Chapter 25 verse 31 to 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 goats 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 clothing. 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 give you food or you thirsty and gave you something to drink and when was it that 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. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these or members of my family, you did it to me that he will say to those at his left hand, you there are accursed, depart from me into the 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 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? 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”.
My Existence and Others
Her life that matters. It’s in my sermon topic. Does my existence matter to anyone? I think this is a very important question. We have to ask ourselves all the time, does my existence matter to anyone? Are there questions that will shape my life? These questions we have to ask ourselves continuously, for example, what shall I eat or what shall I drink? What shall I wear? Those are not important questions. Those are the questions that will shape my life. That’s why Jesus said don’t even question those things but, there are some crucial questions that shaped my life. One of those being, does my life matter to somebody out there? I think that will shape who we will be if our existence matters to others, we can say you’re living a good life. That’s what good life is. Good life is not about good food and good enjoyment, good life is if your life matters to somebody dearly, then you are living a good life. But if people don’t care whether you exist or not, if my existence doesn’t matter to anyone than it is sad. Sometimes I go to a funeral and I see these grandchildren coming out and see them share about their great grandparents in tears. You know, whenever I see that I feel good. I mean their grandchildren, they probably did not spend much time with them and they are not friends, but the grandchildren missed them so much and mattered to them quite a lot explaining why they cry so much, thinking about their grandparents. Then some of them share the life lesson that they taught them throughout their lives and things like that. When I look at that, in the funeral, I realized that they lived a good life. Their life mattered to their grandchildren dearly. You know, our existence cannot be defined in itself. We cannot define ourselves within just us. Our existence can only be defined in our relationship to others. I am who I am because of the relationship that I have with other people. there’s a South African saying, “I am because of who you are, because you exist I exist”. My existence can only be defined in our relationship to others not in itself. As you look at this passage, this is what differentiated the sheep from the goat. This is what Jesus just 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”. Their lives matter to those who are hungry, who are strangers, who are naked, who are sick and who are in prison. Their life mattered to them. A few days ago on September fourth, Mother Teresa was canonized as a saint. Her life mattered to many people, not only to poor people in Calcutta, but too many young people. Her life inspired many young people and gave them New Vision. A life can be like this, not everyone is selfish, not everyone is hungry. It’s not just for money and fame, there are some people who live selflessly. There are some people who sacrifice their lives for other people. There are people like that, and she set the standard for them. She gave the vision to the young people, that you can also live a good life like this. She is a saint in every sense of the word because she lived a good life and her life mattered to many people. You don’t need to be rich to live a good life, I don’t believe so. I don’t believe in materialism in that way. You don’t need to be so successful to be happy, to live eighth, so called good life. You don’t need to be so smart and powerful to have a fulfilling life. That’s illusion, don’t go after that. Young people don’t go after that. At the end of it, you’ll be so disillusioned, that’s not what makes a good life. Good life is if your life matters to somebody, what we need is just simple, your desire to live a life that matters to people, that’s life.
A Good Life
It’s now September, we are entering the fall. Fall is a season where we think about the abundance of life. Abundance of life is not about how productive or how great you are. It’s not about you. Abundant life is not about you. Abundant life is about how enriching your life is to other people, how you enriched other people. That’s what abundant life is all about. Abundance life is fruitful life, fruit does not exists for itself, fruit always exists for others to enjoy. So living a fruitful life is not just for yourself. You living a fruitful life is to live a life that enriches other people and heal other people. When you live that life, that is good life. That’s my definition of good life and that is the definition of good life in the Bible. The good we do to others is humanism. Yes, that is humanism. Humanism is a good thing. Humanism is something that we have to strive for, something that we always be mindful of, but to us as Christians, that is also our spirituality. It’s not just humanism, it is our spirituality. Jesus said this, “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, so what we do to people right in need is not only humanism, but spirituality”. Good that you do to other people, is something you do to Jesus. To Jesus humanism and spirituality are not different. They are very deeply interconnected, in Jesus’ mind. Being spiritual is being humanistic. Humanistic is being spiritual. They go together. Our service for the people who are in need is our devotion to the Lord Jesus. Loving Jesus is not expressed through our emotional response to Jesus. Raising your hands and praising God and saying “I love you, Jesus”, that’s not you. Express your love to Jesus. I mean that’s one way, but the inferior way. Superior way is through having heart for those who are suffering around us. When we have heart for those around us, that is having a heart for God. That was a central teaching of Jesus Christ, wasn’t it? Jesus said “Love your God and love your neighbour”, they’re connected. Jesus said, humanism and spirituality are connected with each other. First of all, who brought those two together and then made the greatest commandment? Love your God and love your neighbour. He’s the one who connected those two.
Having a Heart of Others
A reporter once asked Mother Teresa, “Why do you do what you do?” What you do is like throwing eggs against the rock, you won’t change the problem of hunger in the world by doing what you do and why do you do what you do? and Mother Teresa simply answered like this, “You know? when I look at the eyes of the hungry children. I see little Jesus. That’s why I do that, to Mother Teresa humanism and spirituality we’re not separate. when she saw hungry children, she saw Jesus right there. When we see people who are suffering around us. We should be able to see Jesus, little Jesus. We should see in each other little Jesus in each others eyes. Well, why don’t you look around and see the people around you. Do you see Jesus or do you see devil? Jesus is not way up there. Jesus is right here amongst us, in anyone eyes who’s suffering. Jesus is right there because they need Jesus. Mother Teresa might not have had the gigantic economic plan to relieve the hunger problem of the world, but there’s one thing that she taught us and that is very important lesson “Have heart for those, for suffering”, I think that is the greatest lesson. That is where everything begins. Have heart for those who are suffering. If you see the neighbouring country suffering, have heart for those. If your neighbour is suffering have heart for those, that’s how everything begins. We are living in a heartless world. We don’t care about anybody around us who suffers. We need to restore their heart. That is what healing is all about. We need to restore their heart for those who are suffering around us. You don’t need to go to prison. You don’t need to go out the street. Just look around you. There are people who need your attention and have heart for those. That’s what humanity and spirituality is all about.