Our texts, today, are from Isaiah (my friend!!) and the Gospel of Matthew. In Isaiah 43 God is reminding the Hebrew people, through Isaiah, of what God has done for them (v 16 & 17) but then the people are told to "not dwell on the past." (v 18) One commentator, I read, pointed out the Hebrew people were not exactly remembering what really happened. They were remembering what they wanted to remember but not the difficulties surrounding what had happened. God wants them to move to the "new thing" (v. 19), wants them to "see" it, and for them to move forward.
Jesus is also talking about what people have been doing and what they should be doing. (Matthew 25:31-46) This is talking about the end times and judgement. The Shepherd will separate the sheep from the goats. He will separate the ones who have given lip service from the ones who have actually taken care of the hungry, the homeless, the sick, the prisoner, and the naked. All through Scripture the Hebrew people were told to take care of the "widow, the orphan and the stranger in their land." Jesus has given descriptions here, instead of specifics, but is still pointing out the taking care of "the least of these." (v. 40)
The challenge is -- are we doing this? Are we taking care of the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger? We've just finished 'pack the pew' for the food shelves but is it enough? Yes, we can look back and say "see what we did" but God is calling us to more. God is wanting us to "move forward" (Isaiah) and take care of the "least of these." (Matthew) Is it going to be easy? NO! Is God with us in the challenge? YES!!
So....... Let us make the choice to make the change and to face the challenge!