“Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: `When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, `when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, `then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. `He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. (Eze 33:2-5 NKJ)
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Mat 25:37-40 NIV)
As we prepare for 2017, there are so many people anxious, concerned, even fearful of what the future has in store. African Americans are concerned for their children, Muslims, Jews, religious minorities, Latino immigrants and undocumented immigrants, members of the Gay community, the poor, the sick and those in prison.
The biblical watchmen would stand on the walls of a city and warn the people of impending danger. When they gave a warning, people outside the city would run inside to find safety. In Ezekiel, God held the watchmen accountable for the security of the people. Why should we stand up for the people in these groups, because Jesus called us to take care of the ‘least of these’ as though we were ministering to the Lord?
As I look out, I see the forces of bigotry, hypocrisy, racism, homophobia, xenophobia and intolerance. I need to open the gates of my heart, my home, and the church, so that the least of these can find refuge and safety, after all, it’s what Jesus would have done.