Blessed by the Father
"Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matthew 25:34–40).
Over the past few weeks, we have marked the triumphant passing of two of God’s Saints, who have been an integral part of our ministry for many years: former board member and jail ministry volunteer, Larry Clark, and former board chairman and chaplain, David Tetzlaff (affectionately known as Digger). Their desire to share Jesus with the institutionalized, especially those in jails and prisons, reminded me of the words above from Matthew’s Gospel. These words of Jesus, the King of kings: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father,” are words that every Christian longs to hear when their earthly pilgrimage comes to an end. By the grace of God, they are the words that Larry and David have already heard, and they are the words that we, too, will hear one day, when we find ourselves numbered among the Saints Triumphant in glory.
You see, we truly are “blessed by the Father” for we are blessed through His Son, Jesus Christ. Because of Jesus’ substitutionary life and death, we are “the righteous” having been washed in the blood of the Lamb and clothed with His perfect obedience. Even now, as we bask in the afterglow of Jesus’ Easter victory, this righteousness that is ours through faith, kindles within our hearts a desire to continue reaching out to those who spend their days and nights within the institutions — all those who are, or will become, “these brothers and sisters of mine.” And with your continued partnership in this ministry, that is exactly what we will do.
Chaplain Joseph Radsek