In Simplicity, Sublime
Originally delivered November 26
C. S. Lewis called it “the most
terrifying passage in the New Testament.” John Chrysostom called it “that
most sweet section of Scripture.” It is the account of the separation of
the sheep and the goats, found in Matthew 25:31-46.
From this passage we may observe
what kinds of things God expects us to use to be of service to Him:
expects us to use material things, for this is a material universe. But
see how simple these things are! They are the basic things of life.
We are to use food—but there is no reference to great cuisine. We are to
provide water to the thirsty; apparently tap water will do. We are to
provide clothing; nothing is said about designer jeans.
expects us to use our time for Him as well. Is our time to be used on a
pilgrimage to Jerusalem? He says nothing about it—but rather we are to
visit the sick and those in prison. Neither of these can command us; both
are pleased to see us at our convenience.
It has pleased Almighty God to
accept from His children the simplest of material things and the most
convenient of service times—and consider them as gift and service to
Himself. In simplicity we find the sublime.
Indeed, our Lord uses much the
same method in providing this communion for us.
uses material things to be our reminders of His sacrifice. The fruit of
the vine—next to water, the most common drink in the history of man—and simple
flatbread, a flour and water combination.
asks us to do so at set times, together, so that we might by our mutual
sacrifice of time be reminded of his sacrifice for us.
It has please Almighty God to
give to His children the simplest of material things and the most meaningful of
times (worship) to remind them of His sacrifice on the Cross. In
simplicity we find the sublime.