Yesterday our pastor continued her series on the Apostles’ Creed, concentrating on the phrase, “from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.”  The sermon title: When. She used the Lectionary text from Matthew 25:31-46 about clothing, feeding and visiting those who are naked or hungry, sick or incarcerated.  “Lord, lord,” cry the people. “When did we see you in that state?”

     I love that passage with its poetic repetition but the meaning stops me short.  How can the writing I do, count as serving flesh and blood neighbors in need? God calls for action, not meditation.  Will the judge find me guilty of negligence?  “Lord, lord when did I…?

     I’m burdened as I walk from the sanctuary—until a friend comes up to me and breathlessly says,  “I just finished All Nature Sings. Where can I get another copy?  My friend is dying—I know your book would comfort him.”  I have one in the car so we walk out together. As he hurries away, I reconsider: maybe words of hope are the only food and drink for a dying man, especially when offered by a friend.  Perhaps, when is now.