Daily Reading for November 23 • The Last Sunday after Pentecost (Christ the King)
The whole point of Jesus giving us the final exam in the middle of the course is not to frighten us into failure, but to inspire us to recognize and begin to actualize our true identities. The purpose of this parable [of the sheep and the goats] is not to scare us into contriving a lot of humanitarian acts in order selfishly to acquire salvation. If we start feeding the hungry and clothing the naked simply to gain a reward, we have missed the whole point. Jesus came to change the way we understand ourselves and our relationship to God. The most important truth of all is this: God’s love is gift-love, not need-love, and we are made in the image of that reality. There is an artesian well in everyone whose source is the abundance of God. We are what we are because of who our Parent is, and once this identity becomes deeply rooted in our being, then an unself-conscious giving of self will become a way of life. This in another way of saying that we “inherit the kingdom prepared for us from the foundations of the world.”
From Stories Jesus Still Tells by John Claypool, revised second edition (Cowley Publications, 2000).