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From The Chaplain's Desk
From The Chaplain's Desk: Seek and Serve Christ in all Persons

By Charles Dimmick, CT State Grange Chaplain

  October 7, 2016 --

Matthew 25:37-40 New International Version (NIV)

“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.’

Every summer from 1946 through 1952 I attended a YMCA camp in the mountains of northwestern New Jersey. Either written upon or carved into the mantle over the very large fireplace in the middle of one side of the main lodge was this inscription “We are born not for ourselves but to help others”. Seeing this message every day for two or three weeks every summer, the words became embedded in my mind, and I have never forgotten them. Some years later I began to associate these words with the scripture verse which starts this article.

Putting this message into practice is not always easy. Sure, it is no problem if you assume that all you have to do is be nice to those people around you that you like anyway, but what about people who you don’t like, or who don’t like you, or who do things that you find to be hateful or disgusting? But Jesus has given us clear instructions about this. Earlier in Matthew’s Gospel we find Jesus saying: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”

Since God created all persons in His own image, that means that there must be some good in every person if only we would make an effort to find it. And yes, sometimes it is a real effort. E.W. Hochs, about 100 years ago, said:

There is so much good in the worst of us,

And so much bad in the best of us,

That it hardly behooves any of us

To talk about the rest of us.

But as followers of Jesus we need to go beyond talk, and seek to find and serve the good in even the worst of us. This will not be easy, and often we will fail, and find ourselves confessing “we have left undone those things we ought to have done, and we have done those things we ought not to have done”. Nevertheless let us continue to strive to seek and serve Christ in all persons.


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