Excerpt from “Where Shall the Glory Be Found?”
    Rev. José Francisco Morales Jr. (Disciples Seminary Foundation)
    Sunday, Feb. 19; Eureka Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Eureka, IL
    Matthew 25:31-46, Psalm 145

 

“God’s glory is to be found whenever and wherever we stand with weak, the oppressed, the hurting, the marginalized, of the world.

“During his presidency, President George W. Bush had invited Bono to be his guest speaker at the President’s Prayer Breakfast. In case you don’t know Bono, he is the front man and lead singer of the hugely popular rock band U2. Bono is a ‘born-again Christian’ (his words) of Irish descent, who has taken up the eradication of hunger and poverty as his mission in life. Well, at this breakfast, both Democrats and Republicans were not ready for his prophetic, powerful sermon—his glorious sermon. He challenged the world, and particularly the people of faith like himself, to be Matthew 25 people. And in the climax of his sermon, he offered this chilling challenge to them, and ultimately to us. He said,

‘...God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill. I hope so... But the one thing we can all agree, that we can all be sure of, is that God is with the vulnerable and the poor. God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.’

“God’s glory, God’s thick presence, is with us, if we are with them. (Maybe it’s telling that the root word for ‘glory’ is both ‘heavy’ and ‘burdensome:’ justice work is indeed a great burden, even as it is also a blessing.) For Disciples of Christ, as a church, as a collective body, it is through the work of Week of Compassion, through which we find ourselves saturated by the heavy presence of God, by God’s glory. “Where shall God’s glory be found? Matthew 25 (and Week of Compassion) having been telling us, ‘...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ It is here where we find the glory of God.

“Where shall God’s glory be found? Week of Compassion has been telling us for decades! We encounter God’s glory, God’s ‘palpable, powerful presence’—

when we feed the hungry,

when we care for the sick,

when we defend of oppressed,

when speak for the voiceless;

when we tend to the lame and sick;

when we fight for justice;

when we live compassionately in the world;

when we pour out our lives for ‘the least of these.’

The work of Week of Compassion is nothing less the our encounter with Glory itself.”