The Day I Became Jesus
A reading from The Gospel of Matthew, chapter 24, verses 37 – 40:
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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.’
Nearly two weekends ago we reveled in the uncomfortable in breaking narrative of the Kingdom of God.
And as the narrative unfolded, we played the part of Jesus.
We are used to playing the part of Jesus. After all, we’re Christians. We’re a “little Christ”, “followers of Jesus” who are supposed to think, feel and do like Jesus in this world.
I work at a funeral home where I regularly minister – what I hope – is the compassion, grace and perspective of Jesus.
Both my wife and I work and volunteer at a parachurch ministry for at-risk and vulnerable youth, being Jesus to youth who have little to no family.
And this past weekend we were the adoptive couple to a healthy newborn baby boy.
But, we didn’t play the part of Jesus that you might have assume we played.
You – and I – would assume that we would have played the part of the redemptive Jesus. The Jesus who swooped down in the life of this little boy and rescued him from a potential life of difficulty. His biological father out of the picture. His biological mother fighting to provide for herself.
And we – the 30 something, financially stable, mature Christian couple – swooped down to take him into our Christian family. We were the redemptive Jesus here. Right?
Nicki and I were the poor and broken Jesus. The Jesus in the jail. We were the homeless Jesus. The whore Jesus. The Jesus on the street corner begging for money.
We were the least of these.
In this situation, we weren’t the Jesus who gave all, we were the Jesus who received all. We were the ones who couldn’t provide for ourselves. We were the ones who needed the redemptive Jesus to come in and make us whole. We were the couple who couldn’t conceive.
We were the ones who needed to be lifted out of our misery by someone else’s act of unselfishness.
And by one act of unselfishness, we were redeemed this last week. We were lifted up. We were made whole by a young woman who made the utterly unselfish choice to give us her baby.
“For I was broken and infertile and you gave me your son. Whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did it me.”
It’s not very often that we really get to act like Jesus. But last week, we were able to be Jesus – not in our giving – but in our receiving.