What would you do if suddenly and without warning, you received a message that Jesus was coming to dinner? Would you immediately dash out and buy all kinds of wondrous and savory delights to offer Him? Would you rush “pell -mell” cleaning and polishing every surface in your house until they gleamed and you could see your reflection staring back at you from its surface? Think about it. How would you prioritize you “TO DO” list? Now think about this. As you are out and about, suddenly something falls in front of your face, blocking your journey. Would you simply walk around the obstacle, intent on continuing your journey, or would you stop and look and think about whether or nor you might just be able to act and make a change that not just makes your journey easier, but also makes the journey of others easier, as well? That is the question that is asked by the story I am going to relate. Used as material for sermons and published in many websites, “When Jesus Came To dinner” is eye-opening and will, most likely, touch your soul!
WHEN JESUS CAME TO DINNER
Ruth looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter one more time…
I’m going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I’d like to stop by for a visit.
With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. “Oh my goodness, I really don’t have anything to offer. I’ll have to run down to the store and buy something for dinner.”
She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Seven dollars and forty cents. “Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least.” She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.
A loaf of french bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk…leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt satisfied as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.
“Hey lady, can you help us, lady?” Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn’t even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.
“Look lady, I ain’t got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it’s getting cold and we’re getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we’d really appreciate it.”
Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. “Sir, I’d like to help you, but I’m a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I’m having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him.”
“Yeah, well, OK lady, I understand. Thanks anyway.” The man put his arm around the woman’s shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.
As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart. “Sir, wait!” The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. “Look, why don’t you take this food. I’ll figure out something else to serve my guest.” She handed the man her grocery bag.
“Thank you lady. Thank you very much!” “Yes, thank you!” It was the man’s wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.
“You know, I’ve got another coat at home. Here, why don’t you take this one.” Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman’s shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street . . .without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. “Thank you lady! Thank you very much!”
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn’t have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. “That’s odd. The mailman doesn’t usually come twice in one day.” She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you too, for the beautiful coat.
The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed!
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “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 25:37-40 NIV
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