Reading: Matthew 10: 40-42
Verse 42: And if anyone gives even a cup of water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple…
After reading today’s passage, I think about how we sometimes wrestle with who we serve. In Jesus’ words we hear that if we receive Him, we receive God – the one who sent Jesus. But if we only see Him as a prophet or teacher or just some good guy, then that is all we receive too. Then the last line shifts as Jesus speaks of offering a cup of cold water to another. When we extend the love of Christ to others, we are told that we will not lose our reward – eternal life will remain ours.
The closing verse today reads, “And if anyone gives even a cup of water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple…”. Today I am on a bus headed home from southern Texas. Our six teams of high school youth and the adults with them served six families in need. Each family was a victim of a natural disaster and did not receive government assistance for a variety of reasons. All were immigrant families so language was a barrier. All are barely getting by. Three teams put new roofs that these families could not afford in a thousand years. One team hung, finished, and painted new drywall. One team ran new wire then hung and mudded new drywall. The sixth team did a myriad of projects. It was offering a cup of cold water to these families in southern Texas. The materials and labor were certainly a huge blessing to each family.
But the deeper blessing comes to the ones who extended the cup of cold water. Being exposed to and becoming aware of the needs of others opens us up to so much more than we know in our sheltered worlds. We learn to love others more and to value what we have less. A simple question about what to do with a dollar we found in the parking lot on day one blossomed into $150 gift cards for five families and a new stove for the sixth. It is indeed a deep blessing that we were changed ourselves as we chose to extend the love of Christ to others. As Jesus said, now go and do likewise.