Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cup of Water

"And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because they are a disciple, truly, I say to you, they will by no means lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42

My daughters, when small, used to have trouble going to sleep at night. I remember how important getting just one more cup of water was to them. They were so dry and never ever going to be able to fall asleep unless they took care of their terrible thirst. It was a torturous time for these parents, wanting desperately for their girls to sleep, wanting desperately to fill their needs, and wanting to stop the long, invloved process of stalling bedtime. They are no longer little ones and we all somehow survived bedtime and childhood thirst, but I often wonder about those little ones who are refused a cup of water, a shelter for the night and a small amount of food in their bellies. Across our world and right here in our neighborhoods there are children in that kind of need.

Jesus had tough words to say to the disciples. He tells them that he has come not to bring peace but the sword. And then promises them if they give a cup of water to the least, they will have their reward. None of us wants to go into battle, particularly over theology or religion. I think that is not the sword Jesus was drawing. I think he might have been drawing the sword of compassion, where cultural norms are sliced through so that poor people can thrive. Selfishness and private religion is challenged by compassion.

Today, I want to live my day with the compassion of Christ, seeing the needs of others before my own. I want to set aside convention for the care of others. I pray that we can all take up the sword of compassion, where we live for others and not for ourselves alone.

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