"Then the King will say, 'I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" Matthew 25:34-40
The year is A.D. 33. It's late on a stormy Friday afternoon, and I am standing on a rugged hill by a trash heap outside Jerusalem. I huddle with a group of women just a few yards from the cross. Large drops of rain begin to pelt the dust, and I clutch at my head shawl, wiping away tears and rain.
I cannot take my eyes off Jesus. His body is ramrod stiff, covered with caked dirt and blood, back arched, near death, yet hands stretched and fingers splayed. Jesus' head bobs against the crossbar and He groans, "I thirst."
I step out of the group and cock my ear. Did Jesus say He was... thirsty? A soldier, half-drunk, cracks off a stock of hyssop, spears a sponge and, after soaking it in sour wine, laughs and thrusts it into His face.
I am horrified. Wait. Don't give Him wine gone acidic. This is the Lord who is asking for a drink. O, God, if only I had a jug of fresh spring water! But history is written. I am helpless to do anything.
It is this year. It is late on a stormy afternoon. You drive by a nursing home, recalling a community notice mentioning the need for more dinnertime volunteers at the home.
Jesus said that when we meet the needs of our neighbors, we have ministered personally to Him. Hurting people are our neighbors. History can be rewritten -- we can still give the Lord that drink.