I grew up with stories about God coming to earth as a common man (incognito) to talk to and perhaps test people. In one of these stories, God talked to two men planting potatoes (or some other root) and he asked them what they were planting. One replied politely, to which God said, “And potatoes you shall harvest.” The other was rude and replied mockingly that he was planting rocks, to which God said, “And rocks you shall harvest.” In the story the first farmer had a good harvest while the second only had rocks.
I also remember my maternal grandmother telling me that nowadays (back in the late 1970’s) people had become so evil that God would no longer “dare” to come. This always struck me, but I accepted due to the news of continuous wars in the Middle East — at the time, Iraq & Iran.
What’d we do if God came to us to chat and/or asked us anything? Would you be polite or a total asshole? Would you harvest food or rocks?
On a personal level, I guess I’d be the second without excuses. That’s just me — rude and often stupid.
I was thinking of these stories because of this past Sunday’s sermon. The pastor read what Jesus will do when he does come back — separating the sheep from the goats. He’ll congratulate the sheep for offering food and drink, clothing, visiting the sick and imprissoned and simply helping those in need. He’ll also reprimand those who failed this simple task.
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
– Matthew 25:31-46 (KJV)
As the pastor emphasized during his sermon, to be a Christian is to VISIT.