Doers of the Word

Living in the Spirit
September 30, 2017

Scripture Reading: Matthew 21:13-46

‘What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax-collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him. –Matthew 21:28-32

I worked in a nursing home when I was in high school. The experience was a great education. We had a tiny very fragile patient who suffered from some disease that left her permanently fixed in a near-fetal position with rotting flesh resulting in multiple, untreatable bedsores. She could no longer talk but was alert enough to let you know what foods she did not like. She spat out pureed spinach immediately when it entered her mouth. We quit putting spinach on her plate. We could feed her vanilla ice cream anytime. A son visited her at least once a week. He arrived on a motorcycle wearing a leather jacket, headband, and jeans. He did not say much would greet us if we greeted him but that was about it. He stood by his mother’s bed and held her hand or brushed the hair off her forehead. He always brought vanilla ice cream and fed it to her.

His sister and her husband came once while I worked there. They lived in another state. Did not have anything to do with her brother, I discovered when I mentioned that he visited a few days before they did. The sister responded angrily at her mother’s condition, demanded to talk to the doctor, and threatened to sue for neglectful care. The doctor came to the home and explained the nature of the disease and that her condition would get worse. He had contacted scientist trying to find better treatments and assured her that all that could be was being done. The daughter spent very little time in the room with her mother and after the discussion with the doctor she left. As far as I know, nothing resulted from her visit. I am an advocate for justice, and if I thought a nursing home was providing substandard care, I would bring it to the attention of authorities, which was not the case in this instance.

In our society, we seem to invest a lot of time and energy getting bent out of shape over the behavior of others without considering what God is calling us to do. Christ calls us to love one another not judge the other.

Prayer: Lord let our lives reflect your love to all who witness our actions. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.