Last Sunday of Pentecost / Christ the King Sunday.
November 23, 2014
The Rev. Leonard B. Oakes
Today is the last Sunday of Pentecost. We are now entering into the season of Advent, a season to slow down and be more listening and paying attention to the coming of Christ the King.
Today, we also celebrate the feast of Christ the King. Jesus reminds us that He alone is our King. Those of us who consider ourselves as kings, or act as wannabe kings would do well to remember that on judgment day, all of us will be judged by our power, wealth, or stature, but by the good deeds we have done to one another.
It was said that the power behind every great husband is a smart wife. A story is told about husband who was boasting to his friends: “You know, in my house I am the king, and whenever my wife and I disagree, she would get down to her knees!” Upon overhearing this, the wife said: “You know why I kneel down? I kneel down to look for him under our bed where he is hiding!”
Today, I would like us to reflect on words of Christ who said, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
When Martin of Tours, our patron saint (316-397 AD), a young Roman soldier who had been reluctant to embrace the Christian faith, met a poor beggar on the road who had no clothes to warm himself in the freezing cold, Martin took pity on him. He immediately got off his horse and cut his cloak in two and then gave half to the stranger. That night Martin dreamt he saw a vision of Jesus in heaven robed in a torn cloak just like the one he gave away that day to the beggar. One of the angels next to Jesus asked, “Master, why do you wear that battered cloak?” Jesus replied, “My servant Martin gave it to me.” Martin’s disciple and biographer Sulpicius Severus states that as a consequence of this vision “Martin flew to be baptized” to be united with Jesus and the members of his body – the body of Christ on earth and the communion of angels and saints in heaven.
That is the example we at Holy Child and St Martin are trying to emulate as we live out the baptismal vows we promised. We asked ourselves, “What are we here for? What purpose does God have for me?” I want you to know my brothers and sisters, that through your sharing the talents, time and gifts God has entrusted to you, you are doing exactly what God has called you to do. But I want you to look wider and broader on things we give back to God, for it is when we feel them and begin to be thankful that God has given you a chance to open your hearts and minds to the needs of this world, that you truly understand the purpose of your being and being a member of the family of God.
Tomorrow, our bread for the world volunteers will be in the streets of San Francisco to distribute food. The air is cold this days. I ask you, if you have scarves, gloves, socks, bonnets and blankets to give, please bring them this afternoon or tomorrow morning, and join us to find those who are vulnerable to the weather and sickness.
Next month, our youth have endeavored themselves to help feed the people at the Inn Vision Shelter in South Airport Boulevard.
Panera bread of Millbrae have given HCSM Sunday, Monday and Tuesday slots for bread donation pick up. We continue our Monday morning bread for the community. We are in partnership with Guadalupe Elementary School of San Francisco through the initiative of teacher Marcia Bowdish, and now we will supply Inn Vision Shelter with bread every wednesday. Would you be so kind to render your time and day to help in the distribution?
Our health and wellness clinic will meet in the coming days to re-envision our goals as a community of givers, of caring and loving, and begin to expand wider to our church partners and share the blessings of our humble beginnings and pray that they too will start a similar health center in their community. I ask you prayers for our volunteers and our donors.
There are many real people in need in our society. Let us give and share what we are blessed with. Jesus said, “Whatever you’ve done to the least of my people, you’ve done it for me.”
On a more personal reflection, I would like to share that if you want to get more out of life, try this: As you get up each morning, rather than trying to be blessed, do everything in your power to be a blessing to someone else. If you will do that for sometime, your life will be filled with so many blessings you won’t be able to contain them all.
I’ve discovered that if I meet other people’s needs, God will meet mine. If I make somebody else happy, God will make sure that I’m happy. Every day, we should look in the eyes of God and look for opportunities to be good to people. Maybe you can buy somebody’s lunch, or give someone a ride, Share your contaminating smile so others will smile as well. Get in a habit of doing some good for somebody every day. Don’t make the mistake of living selfishly. You were not created to be focused only on yourself, the Almighty God made you to be a giver. The best way for you to be fulfilled is to get your mind off yourself and reach out to others. Get up in the morning with this attitude: “Who can I be a blessing to today? Who can I encourage? Where is there a need that I can meet?”
Everyday, we hear a lot about success and about the good things that God wants to do for us, but let’s not forget we are blessed so we can be a blessing. We are blessed so we can share God’s goodness wherever we go. If you want to make an impact on somebody’s life, you don’t necessarily have to preach a sermon to that person, or go about telling everyone you spend that much for him or her; just be good to that person. Your actions will speak much louder than your words. You can say, “I love you and I care about you, just as God cared for me by giving His Son Jesus Christ who is a compassionate and merciful King of my life.” When you say those words, do them. We demonstrate true love by what we do. If I love you, I’ll go out of my way to help you. True love turns words and feelings into action.
May we be more loving and giving in the coming season and everyday for God loves a cheerful giver. Amen.