36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25:36-40 NIV)
Sunday School/Bible study should lead our members to see people with God’s eyes. Some in our society discerns whether to care or not based on socio-economic level, race, and appearance. We are called to look at the heart, and see every person as a child of God. We are called to minister to the least of these. In regards to reaching new people, though some may not feel comfortable at first coming to your church for Bible study, they may join you in giving during a crisis in the news, and then join you for Bible study as they see your care for the least of these. Groups, like the Millennial generation, need to see you care with Jesus’ compassion. When you do, you are ministering to Jesus himself, and they get excited.
Virginia Baptists believe in reaching the least of these. Here is a recent e-mail from Dean Miller from our Glocal Missions Team in response to the Ebola Virus:
Virginia Baptists are preparing a response to the outbreak and will begin putting the plan into place as early as next week. We will focus on assisting Liberia at this time due to our historic ties with the area and trust that has been developed with the leadership in that country.
1) Virginia Baptist sent $15,000 today (15th) to the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Educational Conventional, Inc. in response to an official request they made through the Baptist World Alliance. These funds will purchase food and provide educational materials to the communities so they can quell some of the myths about the virus as well as inform communities about the real dangers and how they should protect themselves.
2) Virginia Baptists are partnering with an ecumenical/secular group (Virginia in Action for Liberia Against Ebola) forming across the state that will target Liberians living in Virginia and attempting to consolidate their response. We will assist this group by handling their contributions and assisting with the coordination of in-kind donations should they decide to become involved in that form of response.
3) Virginia Baptists have made a request and will work toward sending an emergency shipment of meals from Stop Hunger Now to Liberia.
4) A special fund has been established for donations and we will receive checks, cash and online contributions. These funds will be dispersed through a variety of ministries in Ghana to assist with this crisis that may continue to escalate for several more weeks.
Here is the link if your Sunday School class wants to get involved: http://vbmb.org/disaster-relief-update-ebola-virus-response/ Let’s make sure we minister to the least of these, and we may be surprised to see Jesus in our midst!