Bible Verse of the Day

Proverbs 17:9
“Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

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AYP March 2015

Grace mercy and peace, from Christ our Lord be with you all. Amen.

So how goes it?

Often that is a question that I am asked, in regards to many different things, from my work here with the church, to my health, to my work with the Army, the list goes on and on…

And the rote answer to that question is “Fine”, or something to that effect. And how often do we ask that of others ourselves, not really caring about the response, and if we get something other than the “ok” we stumble and are not entirely sure how we should respond.

Is that the duty of the Christian? Is that the duty of someone who should be intentional about being in relationship with others around us?

I know that I have a long way to go to get proficient at being honest when I answer that question, but when I do ask it I mean it. I really do want to know what is going on with you, and often the “ok”, or the “fine” is all that we are willing to share at the time.

Speaking about relationships, this season of Lent is about that, becoming more intentional about our relationship with Christ, and as such, we should become more intentional with others that we meet, as we can find Christ in all that we meet, if we look.

This was modeled to me by my father many years ago. In fact, I was probably as old as my oldest son Noah now. We were at a Masonic barbeque, and there was a homeless man that came forward asking if he could get something to eat. There were others that were there that just wanted to shoo the man along and get him out of there, but my father told him to wait a moment. He then went inside and gathered some chicken, and two sausage and pepper sandwiches, and a jug of iced tea to hand to the man.

When I asked my father why he did this, as this was a fundraiser for the Masonic Lodge, my father responded that there was a time when Christ was hungry and there were those that fed him. Then he told me about the story in Matthew 25: ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me some-thing to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.” Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

I have often used this myself, to guide my actions as to how I should treat others, that example set by my father some 35+ years ago has stuck with me as vivid today as it was when it occurred. I would like to commend the same passage to you all to help guide your thoughts and actions this Lent, may we all find ourselves gathered amongst the sheep.


Pastor Paul D. Hansen