“Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”  (Matthew 25:37-40)  One of the continuous struggles of any disciple is understanding the relationship between works and faith.  On this last Sunday of the church year, we appear to get a curve ball.  Throughout the New Testament, we see time and again that the only qualification for salvation is trusting that the Lord has indeed accomplished it for us.  “While we were yet sinners…etc.”  But now here the judgment is in direct relationship to how we have treated the suffering of the world.  What gives?  Perhaps this may help.  All three parables in Matthew 25 involve insufficient knowledge.  The groom informs five of the bridesmaids that he does not know them (12).  The third servant completely misunderstands the nature and character of the Lord who entrusts his property with him (24).  Finally, in this parable, nobody (both sheep and goats) seems to know what is going on except the Lord, himself.  Indeed, what gives?  Well, as for me, when in doubt I must return to the one and only thing that I do know.  The Lord Jesus Christ came to seek and to save the lost and he really has done just that.  And I also know that he endured great suffering in doing so: He hungered and he thirsted; he was homeless and briefly imprisoned.  And finally, he died naked and alone.  Should it really surprise us then, in loving pursuit of and in our resounding “Yes!” to what he alone could accomplish; we continue to encounter him in our care for the suffering?  Should it really shock us that our worship of and trust in the King will involve a relentless commitment to those who suffer?  “O measureless Might, unchangeable Love, whom angels delight to worship above!  Your ransomed creation, with glory ablaze, in true adoration shall sing to your praise!”  Let us now bow to our loving King, by caring for those for whom he cares.  Have a great week.