Jesus said to his disciples: “Gird your loins and light your lamps and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival. Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have them recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way, blessed are those servants.” (Luke 12:35-38)
Jesus’ master-servant parables seem to extol the virtue of preparedness. But I think there is something deeper and even more important behind it.
It begins with the last two sentences of scripture.
The master became a servant to his servants. Just as God sent his son to save us from sin and bring us victory over death. That same son, nonetheless, humbled himself and became a servant for our sake (Philippians 2: 5-8)
The Lord committed to himself to us in a bond of unbreakable love and fidelity. Faithfulness is a key character trait of God and one that He expects of us.
In everything that Jesus did, he modeled for us not only perfect love but also the life he wants us to live to help build his kingdom.
He expects us to be selfless. He expects us to step out of our comfort zone and take care of those in need – either in illness, or loneliness or economically. He expects us to make it such a part of our daily life that it becomes a part of our lives.
See it’s not only about giving at Christmastime, or visiting an orphanage, or helping an elderly person. Those are all good examples of selfless love. But if they are done once a year, if they are done only when asked, its simply not enough.
We need to train our brain and our heart to be in concert. To look out for the need. To actively search for a way that we can ease the burden of another. Through simple acts of love and charity. Not once but all the time.
Now you know what’s coming next, right? Those natural acts of love and charity will begin to transform us.
TRANSFORM. A word with a lot of depth and meaning.
If you are not feeling transformed by self-giving then, in truth, you are not doing it enough. For those reading this that have felt that transformation, you know how much you have changed and grown.
And THAT is what our faith is supposed to do. Each day, we are expected to grow. Each day, we are expected to feel that wonderful blush that comes over us when we have acted NATURALLY in his name.
Look around, there is a lot of pessimism. There is a lot of anger. There is much division in our country and in the world. And we are expected to rise above it.
We are expected to show others that where there is darkness, there can be light.
We are asked to co-create with God. To show that a life of kindness, a life of gentility, a life of giving could change the world.
But too many label that as “pie-eyed” thinking. It’s “preacher” talk. Too many say that, in today’s world, events and attitudes have gone too far. So, they retreat. They retreat into their own lives, their own homes. They close their curtains to the light that Jesus Christ can bring. And darkness begats darkness. Anger and criticism become a language and the more we engage in it, the more it becomes our way of life.
We simply cannot abandon ourselves to the events of the world with pessimism, as if history were a runaway train.
And just as it is not Christ-like to shrug one’s shoulders or bow one’s head before a seemingly inescapable destiny, we are reminded to be his hands and feet in bringing hope to the world. A follower of Christ is a peacemaker when he/she takes risks, when he/she has the courage to take risks in order to bring good, the good which Jesus has given us, given us as a treasure. It’s not a one-and-done occurrence nor reserved just for the Last Day.
Jesus is knocking on your heart. He is continually coming to you seeking to come in and recline with you so as to converse, strengthen, heal and help. Reflect, today, upon how ready you are to open immediately every part of your life to the grace and will of God. Let Him in with great joy and enthusiasm and let His plan continue to unfold in your life.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, you are faithful even when I fail. Help me to remain ever faithful to you and to not shrink back when I encounter difficulties. May always live in your presence and be ready to meet you when you call me on the day of judgment.”
What a great arrangement we have here! We participate in kingdom work and Christ promises to serve us. You may wonder whether you have the time, strength, or ability to serve Christ, but you must remember this: You do not serve Christ, you do not do kingdom work, by your own strength. You do kingdom work with the strength Christ provides (1Pet. 4:11). Remember the words of our Lord in Mark 10:45: “the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many “.