Thursday, December 18, 2008

Advent: God Comes in Our Compassion

The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)

I have to confess, I've never really thought of that as an "Advent scripture" before. Not till I read the article in the Ann Arbor News the other day. The story, as best as I can remember it, goes like this:

A little girl has a birthday. She sends out invitations so her friends. However, she has a request. She would like them to bring presents that are unwrapped.

The reason: the presents are not for her!!

She plans to give the presents away to a Toys for Tots program in town. She ends up receiving 30+ presents, worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $400+. The reporter asks her what she thought about the presents. She responds, "There were a couple of really good ones I'd like to have kept for myself. But I know others needed it more."

I appreciated the honesty.

And I couldn't help but think this little girl was fulfilling Matthew 25:40, whether she realized it or not. She did it for "one of the least of these" who needed a little thoughtfulness and generosity.

And if it is true that we have done those acts, not only for others, but, ultimately, for Jesus, then isn't it safe to say that he comes to us in those acts of compassion? He arrives as we are being Jesus to others?

And what is Advent? Simply anticipating God's arrival.

May you and I find ways to usher in God's arrival into our lives and the lives of those around us.

Grace & Peace

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