Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these...

I often think of this passage from Matthew chapter 25 when I am taking care of my children:

31When 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:
32And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34Then 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:
35For 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:
36Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40And 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.

How does this apply to mothering? Well, I figure it is a pretty good description of what I do every day--clothe the naked (once in the morning, once after an oatmeal spill, once after a potty accident, once after a bath...); feed the hungry (have you ever seen a nest of baby birds with their mouths open? that's how I often feel); administer to the sick and afflicted (nights when the kids have had the stomach flu come to mind). I like this passage because it reminds me that meeting all of these physical needs of my kids really is a matter of spiritual as well as temperal importance. And at times when I feel like my influence in the world is limited to my family, I am reminded that the opportunities to serve and make a difference within my family are more than sufficient for my small abilities. I'm not suggesting that our service should be limited to our families, but affirming that we really are doing great and important service right here within the walls of our homes. And if at some seasons in our life we have limited reach beyond those walls, I believe we will be blessed for choosing true priorities.

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