I really enjoy studying history, watching documentaries, and reading biographical accounts of those who were once world changers. For me it brings context to the world we live in today. Every event that happens today had a past cause that eventually manifest itself in the present. We can learn so much from history by identifying behavioral patterns, or political mistakes that may have even lead to horrible atrocities and sufferings.
Recently I watched a documentary about the end of World War II involving the liberation of one of the death camps operated by the Nazi regime. Adolf Hitler had ordered the construction of these camps in the Nazi occupied parts of Europe. Millions of Jews and Gypsies were executed in these camps in a massive act of genocide. In this particular film Gen. Eisenhower, whose troops had liberated one of these camps, made a very unprecedented decision. Eisenhower chose to make the citizens of this particular region aware of the atrocities of their government. The German citizens of the surrounding towns were ordered to come to the death camp and file past the dead. The photographer captures the looks of horror, tears, and unbelief on the faces of the German citizenry as the filed past the dead witnessing what had taken place in their own back yards. They became fully aware that hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children were lead to their deaths, with no one coming to their aid.
For me it was a glimpse of the end of time when Jesus returns. Will the atrocities of that particular generation, like those of the Nazi’s, become visible? From my knowledge of the end of days the answer will be yes, times a thousand! Thankfully you and I are saved by the grace and mercy of God through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. We can look forward to that day of liberation with great anticipation and joy. But still I have to ask myself is there anything going on in my back yard that I may be turning a blind eye to? Has God called me to go into the world around me to make a difference by my words and actions? Jesus in the parable in about the sheep and goats, Matthew 25:31-46, answers His disciple’s questions about the His return at the end of days. It is a time of great joy for those for those who are followers of Jesus as they stand before the Lord seated on His “throne in heavenly glory.” Jesus calls this group His “sheep”, those on “His right.” Jesus basically commends them for getting dirty by caring for Him as they cared for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick, and those in prison. The other group that stood before Jesus on “His left,” the “goats,” received a cold response from the Lord. Jesus told them the words no one wants to ever hear “I never knew you.” Why did He not know them? The reason Jesus did not know those on His left is that they had chosen to turn a blind eye to the needs of those in their own community. They chose not to get dirty. Bottom line according to Jesus is “whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”
Every day we need to be looking for Jesus. Where is He today, what is He doing in our own back yard? We will need to roll up our sleeves and get dirty, helping our Lord, help others.