“I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for the least of these, you did not do for me.” – Matthew 25:45
This past Wednesday, January 6, 2021, was undoubtedly one of the darkest days in the history of the United States of America. Like most Americans, and the world at large, I stood in front of my TV screen appalled that such an attack on our nation’s capital could be happening before my very eyes, and by an angry mob made up of none other than my own fellow citizens. Like most Americans I find myself caught up in emotions of anger, fear, and sadness all at the same time. What has happened in America is heartbreaking.
These Abundant Living articles are not intended to be a forum for commentaries on current events, nor would it be a subject for this issue except I question if I too am part of the problem, if not in some ways as guilty as the mob that stormed the Capital. Jesus admonished us that, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.” And here I have been a person of privilege all my life, born and raised in a loving home with access to a good education, successful careers, a beautiful family, and financial stability. Yet, how often have I turned away a neighbor in need while feeding my own selfish desires? How often have I betrayed someone or been unkind? I ask myself, has my behavior contributed to the hate and anger we witnessed last Wednesday?
“For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. . . I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” If I have failed my neighbor and my Lord, what then must I do – starting today – that in some small way will help us heal? Maybe I need to start with this humble prayer:
“Most merciful God, I confess that I have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what I have done, and by what I have left undone. I have not loved you with my whole heart; I have not loved my neighbors as myself. I am truly sorry and I humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on me and forgive me; that I may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of you Name. Amen.” (Book of Common Prayer, revised to first person.) May God Bless America!