It is the end of another year. Nearly every piece of popular media is studded with stories of the lives, events, and deaths of the famous, the intellectual best, the beautiful, and the rich. Revelry will abound to heighten the grand entrance to a new year. Great attention will be given to the best, brightest, and most popular things. This is the nature of the pattern of this world.
While this happens with regularity nearly every year, the destitute, persecuted, oppressed, and small people by the world’s standards have lives, events, and deaths that go unnoticed. Looking forward, for them, if they can raise their eyes, is not so exciting.
The little image shows an adult and a couple children in a tribe from the mountains of one island in the Philippines. They could be anywhere and have any ethnic background. Christ came to preach good news to the poor, to demonstrate the power of the Good News, and make the Way plain for any man or woman from any place and time to call upon Him. Then, even in the midst of severe or terrible circumstances, He will never, I repeat, never lose them, never lose sight of them, and never forget them. This is worth celebrating.
Such is the nature of my God, whose mercy and love reach to the least, comfort the broken hearted, and gather the lost. He paid an incalculable price of this gift of salvation. It cannot be earned by reputation, fame, money, beauty, or achievement. It can only be received as a gift. And, one of His objectives, is to go after the broken and inconsequential, as so eloquently put in Isaiah 61 and quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19. That is the pattern of the Kingdom, which is so different from the pattern of this world. While hard circumstances for many people, who have called upon Him, generally go unnoticed, there will be a day when it will all be corrected, made right, and judged. If you are down trodden, put your hope in Him.
In the meantime, do some of you have some ability or position or riches? If you know Him, if you know the Lord Jesus Christ, if you have experienced His peace, do as He does: honor the least. In faith and with action, love them. For what do you have that you have not been given? What breath do you have that is not sustained by the One who gives life? Let His love and message of salvation be on your lips and carry your feet and hands to places where circumstances are severe for others. It can be as close as your neighbor, or half way around the world.
For the day is coming, as is says in Matthew 25, when “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats…” Those that have called upon Him and have followed in His way will ask Him when they did things to warrant His recognizing them as His sheep. Their little actions in their little lives through the ages will have already spoken to the King. So, he 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.’