‘You did it to me’
You may have heard these words, they are the words from the Gospel of Matthew and they were used frequently by Mother Teresa during her life, the full passage is at the bottom of this post.
When I first heard the words I was troubled, good troubled, and a troubling that I welcomed. The words arrested my heart and fueled my daily ‘living’. My eyes were opened in revelation to see that ministry was far wider than I had imagined and that our planned meetings were just the tip of the iceberg, almost a formality. There is nothing wrong with the planned meetings, they are necessary but it is not often a context in which believers can minister. The house church movement and the free churches have tried hard to break the walls between clergy and laity, and to a degree that has happened, but I fear we have to an extent just invented a new liturgy.
The outworking of our Christian lives is not on a Sunday morning but in living a life of light in a world of darkness, holding on to these words ‘You did it to me’ through everything we do. This is the essence of any ministry, serving those who are before us as if we were serving the Lord himself. Which, if you believe this verse, we are.
I heard it said that there was once a reporter who was observing Mother Teresa attending to a man with four leg ulcers, not something for the faint hearted. The reporter commented that he wouldn’t do it for a million dollars, to which Mother Teresa replied “Neither would I, but I would do it for Jesus”.
So it is with these words that my paradigm was shifted. Everything is ministry when I am doing it before the Lord. Everything is valid when I look to Him as the one I am serving.
These words become a safeguard from sin. It is holding the words ‘You did it to me’ before me on a daily basis that direct me to minister and keep me alert to His direction and His leading. They are like a lighthouse that keeps me from the rocks.
As you muse on the phrase I believe it will become fuel for your daily walk.
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 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; 36 naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? 38 And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:31-40