Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Reflection - Jesus Could You Forgive Me?

photo by John Decker

Jesus Could You Forgive Me?

I wonder what would happen if Jesus came back to live among us. Suppose He just wanted to see up close what we’re doing with our lives, how we’re treating one another, and if we’re practicing the values of love, compassion, and mercy that He taught. I imagine Him taking on a human form that would allow Him to live as one of us. The Jesus I love probably would not take the position of a CEO of a large company or a well-known leader.

He might be more likely to return as a homeless person. The thought of that makes me shudder. For just last week, a homeless man approached me, and I turned away. Was it a lack of empathy on my part? Fear perhaps? It doesn’t matter why really. I could have been generous, but I chose to be selfish – not just with my money, but worse, with my heart. Dear Jesus, if that was you, could you forgive me?

He could come back as a lonely old man, like the one who lives next door to me. My neighbor keeps to himself and we seldom speak – and to be honest I haven’t made an effort to change that. I’ve never offered to help him lug his groceries up the stairs, scrape ice off his sidewalk, or do any of the many tasks that must surely challenge an elderly man. Have I been too lazy to be kind? Too self-involved to reach out? Jesus, if that is you, could you forgive me?

If I hurt them, did I not hurt Jesus, too? For He has said, “Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me”. So, still I must ask, Jesus, can you forgive me?

Every single day offers chances to be helpful, supportive, or generous. What do you do with your chances? Do you see a person in need as an opportunity to touch another life – or as an intrusion on your own? Do you walk away, when you could reach out? Do you judge, when you could support? When we fail to help, aren’t we failing Jesus? And ourselves?

If I could strive to treat those individuals as if they were Jesus, I’m pretty sure He would be a lot more pleased with the person I had become. And so would I.

written by David L. Weatherford

Matt 25:40 And the King will tell them, 'I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.'
Matt 25:45 And he will answer, 'I assure you, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.'

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