Thursday, November 19, 2015

I was a stranger and you took me in...

I am not a big Bible quoter these days, but I grew up in a family where studying and knowing the Bible was not only the norm but the requirement. I have read it once or twice or ten times and there is one particular passage from Matthew Chapter 25 that seems particularly salient to the present situation and judging whether what we do is a moral choice:

31“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.32All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.33And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left.34Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in;36was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me;I was in prison and you came to Me.’37“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?38When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?39Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’40And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’41“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:42for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink;43I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’44“Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’45Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you,inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’46And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”Emphasis my own, obviously. You will note that passage doesn't say 'I was a stranger and you took me in since I was the same religion as you and it was easy and comfortable.'Sorry for bringing up both politics and religion and I promise not to do it again.