New International Version
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
The parable of the sheep and the goats might be the scariest parable Jesus uttered. If one reads nothing else in the Bible, it may seem like the salvation of one’s soul is based entirely on on one’s sheepness versus one’s goatness.
In Matthew 25, Jesus talks about feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and those imprisoned. He says nothing of those who have smartphones, internet access, the physical ability to make key strokes or voice commands or the cognitive capability of doing those things, much less a lot of followers on twitter and a bevy of Snap chatters.
I suppose one could point out that those things did not exist in 30 A.D.. Yet there are those who lack access to those things now or the ability to manipulate them. And there are folks whose stomachs are too hungry to even contemplate anything beyond the next meal. There are those too sick to operate a twitter feed. These are the least of his children.
They aren’t found in politics, on social media, in Hollywood or working as well paid pundits on cable news or talk radio. They aren’t celebrities posing in order to make themselves feel better before retreating to their gated communities. In fact, they may be considered by some as “takers”, to use a well know political term. The least are living with stage IV cancer and in nursing homes. But they don’t have anyone protesting on their behalf. They are trying to not freeze to death sleeping under bridges in Minnesota winters. But they don’t sleep and many die. They are joyfully interacting with anyone who is paid to care for them in their mental illness. But they don’t know that their care is targeted for cuts so that we can build walls or offer free college to all or tax cuts for the financially noisy or pose over gun debates without saving a single life. Intersectional theorizing doesn’t feed a single hungry child who is least or change the diaper of a mother with severe dementia.
The least rarely vote. Often that’s because they are unable to do so, for one reason or another. They don’t blog. They aren’t members of any political party. Quite frankly, they would be ushered out the door by security at either party’s political convention. Thus, it’s easy to disregard them as politicians angle for the votes of those who are actually…capable of voting.
I don’t know if I’m going to hell if I don’t put all my time, energy, money and focus on the least of Jesus’ children. But I do know that’s who he was most concerned about. I need to remember that the next time someone suggests that I should put my focus on anything Sean Hannity or Rachel Maddow want me to get worked up over.
Copyright Daniel Blake 2019