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Gospel centred sermons, based on the lectionary often in advance.

Nov 10, 2011

Focus Reading: Matthew 25:31-46

As individual Christians and as a church our job is not anything as difficult as solving all our problems. It is simply to worship and love God. Today’s parable in Matthew 25:31-46 makes it clear that the main way we do this is by serving our neighbour, especially our needy neighbour. The people Jesus identifies as his true followers are those who feed the hungry, quench the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked and take care of the sick. When we serve the needy we serve our King.

                The parable does not tell us that God will love us and save us if we do these things. Instead it tells us that as a natural outworking of God in our lives, we should be serving others. Or to put it another way – if our faith is real it should lead us to serve. In the story the “blessed” ones don’t even know that they have been serving the King. They ask “When did we serve you Lord”, and the Lord replies “Whenever you did it for the least of these…” On Sundays we remind ourselves of God’s love and ask God to be with us.  On Monday to Saturday we should witness to that love in serving the needy. Serve your Neighbour – Serve your King.

The story of Papa Panov can be found here

Questions for thought or discussion.

What motivates us to serve others? What holds us back from serving others? What are the reasons the sheep are saved? How do you receive eternal life? What do you think of the idea that this parable is not about how we get into heaven but about how we should unselfconsciously respondto God's love?