A group from Glen Echo Christian Church in Des Moines, IA came into the Polk County Juvenile Detention Center last Friday night to throw a Fall Harvest party for the youth who were in detention. One young man wrote about the experience. He said:
Thank you for taking time out of your day to come brighten up ours. The games were fun to play – that made our night. I really appreciate all of you spending your own money to buy us candy and cupcakes not a lot of people would do that.
He’s right, not that many people will voluntarily give of their time to spend with youth who are in lock-up. Yet Jesus exhorted us to do just that. In Matthew 25 he said, “for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to Me,” (Matthew 25:35-36, NKJV emphasis mine).
The people naturally asked when did we do all of that? Jesus replied, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me,” (Matthew 25:40, ESV).
It may not seem like much, but with a little time (and some candy and cupcakes) you can demonstrate the love of Christ to a young person who may not experience it any other way. When we do this “to the least of these” it’s like we are doing it to Christ.