Students sitting outside Bockman
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Friday, November 24, 2017

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Now back to the metaphors.
No one wants to be a goat--at least, not as they are described by Jesus here in Matthew 25. The goats are herded to the left where the Son of Man declares to them from the heavenly throne, "You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." Well, thank God we are the sheep, right? But wait--is that right? Suddenly, I'm feeling convicted. The truth is, I'm feeling goatish. When I last saw the hungry today on the bridge while exiting the freeway, did I feed them? When I turned on the local news and caught the story of an imprisoned person on trial, did I go to visit them? Did I care for the stranger I saw despondent as I walked through the grocery store? I don't want to be a goat, but my goat-like tendencies are real. I wonder: if Christ can turn water into wine, can heal the sick, can cast out demons, can even raise the dead, do you think he can also turn a goat into a sheep?

We pray: "Christ of miracles, take our goatish hearts and make them your own-hearts reformed by your call following in the way of righteousness and neighborly service." And the Good Shepherd speaks: "Listen, for my sheep hear my voice. I know them – I know you! – and they follow me." Amen.

Justin Lind-Ayres, '03
Luther Seminary Pastor, St. Paul, Minn.;
Campus Ministry Team Member, Augsburg University, Minneapolis, Minn.

Matthew 25:31-46 (NRSV)

31 "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.
32 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,
33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.
34 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;
35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 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.'
37 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?
38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?
39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?'
40 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.'
41 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;
42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43 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.'
44 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?'
45 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.'
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."


This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.