Sunday

28 June 2020

Matthew 10:40-42

'And whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple – truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.' (v. 42)

Psalm: Psalm 89:1-18

Background

I remember learning to drive. It must have been horrendous for my driving instructor. I recollect heading down a road, cars parked either side. There was still space for one vehicle coming up and me going down, but only just. I went for the space and made it. At the bottom of the hill my teacher asked me to pull over. He was breathing rather heavily. "What did you do?" he asked in a rather shaken voice. "I just shut my eyes." I won’t repeat his exact words but he suggested that I didn’t do that again! That put me in the mind of Jesus teaching his disciples. I guess there was a lot of head shaking and brow mopping. Sometimes they just didn’t get it.

Here he talks about giving "even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple". Relatively safe ground. We might want to suggest that little ones are not just children. But that is going through the gap with our eyes closed. Think children for a moment. Vulnerable. Needy. Begin with a relatively easy suggestion. They might just get it. We might just understand. Only later, 15 chapters later in our translation, does Jesus press home the point. A picture is painted of gathered nations and their judgment. No longer safe. No longer homely. "Whoever sees me thirsty and gives me a drink."  And the people protest, but Jesus continues, "Whenever you did this for the least of these you did it for me." But we are in sheep and goats country. A time of judgment. A time of blessing or condemnation. Based in action not just words. Not metaphorical, solid, real.

Move to today. How we treat one another, how we offer love, in the presence of COVID-19 and, perhaps, beyond is a moment of crisis, our own time of judgment, not by us of another, but of ourselves. Are we ready, or are we just driving blind, deceiving ourselves?

 

To Ponder:

  •  What actions have you taken in the past that give evidence of your faith?
  • What might you be able to do differently from now on so that you emulate that spirit of giving "even a cup of cold water" to another.

Bible notes author

The Revd Andrew Pratt

Andrew is a Methodist supernumerary presbyter, Honorary Research Fellow at Luther King House, Manchester, and author. He has written over 1,500 hymns.

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