Pastoral Relief and Retreat

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Wethersfield, CT, United States
I am Pastor at Poquonock Community Church, Congregational (CCCC) in Windsor, CT. My wife Jama and I live in Wetherfield, CT. We'd like to invite you to Terre Haute -- High Ground -- That's what Jama and I call the retreat space on our property. We offer free intentional get-away retreats. We'll feed you and house you and give you space to be with the Lord. All are welcome; no questions asked. This blog is my daily devotional journal. I write it because it is so easy to go for weeks without ever taking the time to be alone with God. Writing helps me develop a discipline I need.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

James 2:15-17

"If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, Go in peace, be warmed and filled, without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead."

Back in 1981 one of the prophetic voices speaking to the church was a man named Keith Green. Those of you who were born after he died in 1982 in a plane crash may not know his music, but it had that classic ability to speak deeply across the generations. I'm drawn to his interpretation of Matthew 24:31-46 still.

If you want to hear something powerful, call it up on you tube and listen along with the lyrics. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g5wUDgDEOmg). It is called simply,

"The Sheep and the Goats"

And when the Son Man comes, and all the Holy Angels with him,
Then shall he sit on His Glorious throne,
And he will divide the nations before Him,
As a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
And she shall put the sheep on His right and the goats on His left,
And He shall say to the sheep; come ye, blessed of My Father,
inherit the Kingdom I have prepared for you from the foundation of the world,
For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat,
I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink
I was naked, and you clothed me,
I was a stranger, and you invited me in,
I was sick, and I was in prison, and you came to me.
Thank you! Enter into your rest.

And they shall answer Him, yes, they shall answer Him,
And they'll say, Lord, when?
When were you hungry Lord, and we gave you something to eat?
Lord, when were you thirsty? I can't remember. And we gave you drink?
Huh, when were you naked Lord, and we clothed you?
And Lord, when were you a stranger and we invited you in?
I mean, we invited lots of people in Lord. I could never forget that face.
And Lord, when were you sick and we visited you?
Or in prison, and we came to you? Lord, tell us?
In as much as you did it to the least of my brethren, you've done it unto me.
Oh yes, as much as you've done it to the very least of my brethren,
you've done it, you've done it unto me. Enter into your rest.

Then He shall turn to those on His left, the goats.
Depart from me, you cursed ones, into everlasting fire,
prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat,
I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink,
I was naked, out in the cold, in exposure, and you sent me away,
I was a stranger, and I knocked at your door,
But you didn't open, you told me to go away,
I was sick, racked in pain upon my bed,
And I begged, and prayed, and pleaded that you'd come, but you didn't,
I was in prison, and I rotted there,
I'd prayed that you'd come.
I heard your programs on the radio, I read your magazines, but you never came.
Depart from me!!!

Lord, there must be some mistake, when?
Lord, I mean, when were you hungry Lord and we didn't give you something to eat?
And Lord, when were you thirsty, and we didn't give you drink?
I mean, that's not fair, well, would you like something now?
Would one of the Angels like to go out and get the Lord a hamburger and a coke?
Oh, you're not hungry, yeah, I lost my appetite too.
Uh Lord uh, Lord, when were you naked,
I mean Lord, that's not fair either Lord,
We didn't know what size you wear.
Oh Lord, when were you a stranger Lord,
You weren't one of those creepy people who used to come to the door, were you?
Oh Lord, that wasn't our ministry Lord. We just didn't feel led, you know?
Lord, when were you sick? What did you have, anyway?
Well, at least it wasn't fatal; oh, it was?
I'm sorry Lord, I would have sent you a card.
Lord, just on last thing we want to know,
When were you in prison Lord? What were you in for anyway?
I had a friend in Leavenworth..

ENOUGH!

In as much as you've not done it unto the least of my brethren,
You've not done it unto me.
In as much as you've not done it unto the least of my brethren,
You've not done it unto me. Depart from Me.
And these shall go away into everlasting fire.
But the righteous into eternal life!

And my friends, the only difference between the sheep
and the goats, according to this scripture,
is what they did, and didn't do!

Jon

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