Thursday, January 9, 2014

Who Am I Serving? by Paula Roten

No, this is the kind of fasting I want: 
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; 
lighten the burden of those who work for you. 
Let the oppressed go free, 
and remove the chains that bind people. 
Share your food with the hungry, 
and give shelter to the homeless. 
Give clothes to those who need them, 
and do not hide from relatives 
who need your help. 
Isaiah 58:6, 7 NLT

As I sit here staying with my mother after a day in the hospital and two ER visits, this is the suggested scripture reading for the day in my morning devotional. I love how God is always so relevant. I didn't get to go to church Sunday or to an elderly friend's funeral or to play with my grandchildren or out to eat with friends. Instead, I've stayed at my mother's house preparing her meals, reminding her to drink more liquids, helping her out until she gets well enough to live independently once again. 

And God reminds me through scripture what true Christianity looks like...and what it does not. It's not church attendance and so many other things we spend our time doing. It looks like the above Isaiah passage and what Christ Himself told us in Matthew 25:35-36, 40:

"For I was hungry, and you fed me. 
I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. 
I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 
I was naked, and you gave me clothing. 
I was sick, and you cared for me. 
I was in prison, and you visited me. 
When you did it to one of the least 
of these my brothers and sisters, 
you were doing it to me!"

So as I wash clothes, make meals, dole out medicine, help her bathe, give her a stable hand while she walks, and do many other ordinary even unpleasant tasks, I will remember who I am doing them for. It's Jesus I am serving.  

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