It was an extremely cold, blustery January night in New York City. The subways were filled with commuters returning home from work and also many "street people" trying to escape the bitter cold outside. As the train rumbled along, it would stop at each station. Some folks would exit the train as others got on. At one station a rather disheveled woman got on the train. She was ragged and dirty, cold and weary, and perhaps she even had too much to drink.
As the train pulled out of the station, she stumbled, then slumped, into a seat and fell fast asleep. Her hands were nestled inside two tattered gloves that were full of holes. Other people on the subway moved aside to make room for the woman and to create as much space between themselves and her as possible.
Then, something strange happened. As the train pulled into another station, a young man walked over to the woman, paused in front of her, removed his gloves, laid them on the woman's lap, and got off the train. Another man who was exiting the train at the same time saw what the man did and couldn't resist asking him why he left gloves on the woman's lap. "It's because I'm a Christian," he said.
We understand why the young man placed his gloves on that woman's lap, don't we? He did this because that's what Christians do when they see someone in need. They do what they can to help meet the need. Why? They respond in ways like this because that's what Jesus always did. Jesus modeled what God's love is like by performing acts of compassionate and kindness towards others. Such acts, says Jesus, shall be commended on the Day of Judgment:
"Then the King will say to those on his right, "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me... I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
May our ears, eyes, and hearts always be open to hear, see, and respond to the needs of others because that what our Master, Jesus did, and that's what He's called us to do as well.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor George Kaden