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January Chimes

Truly I tell you, just as you did it
to one of the least of those who are members of my family,
you did it to me.
(Matthew 25:40)

Dear Friends:

As I write this month’s message…it is cold outside! Really, really freezing cold! It is January 7, and we are experiencing the coldest day in recent history. I think I heard that all 48 of the contiguous states are having below-freezing temperatures.

At least it is warm inside. It’s warm here in my office. My house was warm when I stepped out into the arctic cold to walk up to church. My coffee is warm. The heated office plus the warm drink immediately took the chill away. I’m comfortable. But there are those who are not warm, not comfortable. I was just listening to the radio, and a reporter on KYW was interviewing a homeless man who was sleeping on a sidewalk under nine blankets! And he was still freezing cold. I’ve heard and seen reports like that many times and I know you have, but given these record freezing temperatures, somehow it really hit me this morning.

The above verse from Matthew 25 are the words of Jesus to those being welcomed into the kingdom of heaven. In the verses preceding this one Jesus says to the saints, “I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me.”

The astonished saints ask, “When? When did we do all this?” Jesus answers, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of those who are members of
my family, you did it to me!”

Thinking about that freezing cold man I heard on the radio got me thinking about the many outreach ministries here at St. Paul’s that seek to fulfill these words of Jesus by reaching out to needy people – hungry, thirsty, estranged, stripped of dignity, sick, imprisoned…and cold! This community of saints serves people locally, nationally and globally.

I give thanks for your many ministries and your gifts of time, talents, and treasures.
May we continue to rise to the challenges to live out Jesus’ commission.

In Christ,
Pastor Skip McDowell

January 2014

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