Matthew 25:31-end Phil Woodcock 26th Nov
STOP LOOK LISTEN --- Or you’ll end up a goat !
Each year tends to be dominated by events we jump from one thing to the next. As a teacher Phil finds the terms of the school year reinforces this regimented approach.
Looking at the church year all the festivals have to be fitted in and it is sometimes easy to go onto autopilot.
It was Pope Pius X1 who named the last Sunday of the churches year Christ the King Sunday. He was concerned with secularisation and the need to have Christ at the centre. It gives us the opportunity to look back over the past year and also to look forward. The questions we need to ask are has Christ been in all parts of my life or can I do better?
We need to allow Christ the King in everything we do and say, so we can return to some of the wonder as we go into Advent and the build upto Christmas.
We need to STOP rushing, LOOK at what is happening and LISTEN to those around us, and react as Jesus has taught us.
And so to the reading: a parable on judgement when Jesus returns.
Jesus names two groups of people these are the sheep and the goats. The people who were listening would be familiar with the scene. These animals were looked after together by the shepherd. They looked the same but were very different personalities. The sheep needed more looking after i.e. soon get lost and needed rescuing, were helpless when they fell and needed leading to good pasture. The goats were just stubborn and would eat anything at all!
When Christ returns as King he will be like a shepherd, and tell those on his right all that they had done for him, at which they would reply what are you on about?
As a result of their acts of kindness, to those in need, they were able to enter the everlasting kingdom.
Those on the left would wonder when did we not see?
They are banished to eternal fire.
1 Cor.5:15 He died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
Our actions change our whole life.
We need to LISTEN to those around us then being a sheep or goat will take care of itself.
1. Stop Look Listen, which of these do you find most helpful on your front line?
2. On a light hearted note: goats being stubborn and sheep needing lots of looking after; which are you naturally more like?
3. Thinking of need is there one need you would like the group to pray about?
4. Having looked in Matthew at this the last of the parables of Jesus (about judgement) how does it affect the great commission we are given at the end of chapter 28?