Luke 12: 35-48
For some, this passage refers to the second coming of the Lord. But I think to the more astute you will realize what we are talking about is our own time when the trumpet sounds and we too are called “home.” It is a call to prepare ourselves to meet God!
It begins by praising the servant who is prepared. The long flowing robes worn in the time of Jesus were a hinderance when one wanted or needed to work. To free a person from this hinderance, they would gather up the robe and tuck it into the girdle worn around the waist.
The eastern lamp on the other hand had a cotton wick floating in a bowl-like container. The wick always had to be kept trimmed and the oil of the lamp needed to be replenished so that the lamp would stay lit.
No person can tell the day or the hour when that summons will come. The day when eternity will invade their time. Only God knows and our job is to be like the good servant and be prepared. But the burning question has to be, when the trumpet sounds and God calls us home, how would we like God to find us?
I want to first suggest that God finds us with our work done. Life for many of us is filled with loose ends. Relationships which are broken, a burning hate which has gone on far too long, sins that have not been forgiven and a salvation that has yet to be asked for. In John 17: 4 Jesus himself said, “I have finished the work which you gave me to do.” No person should leave undone tasks which should have been completed before the sun goes down on one’s life.
We would like God to find us in peace with one another. This builds on the previous paragraph where we would not want to leave this world when we are at odds with others. Ephesians 4: 26 says, “Be angry, but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.”
Finally, we should like to be found at peace with God. It will make all the difference in the world when we know whether we are going to a stranger, or an enemy, or that we are going to sleep in the arms of God.
In the second section of today’s lesson Jesus draws a picture of the wise and the unwise steward. During the time of Jesus, the steward had almost unlimited authority. Although he himself was a slave, he had control over the other slaves. A trusted steward ran a master’s house for the master and administered his estate with care. The unwise steward made two mistakes.
First of all, he believed that he could do what he wanted as long as the master was away. He failed to realize that a day of reckoning would come and it would come when he least expected it. Unfortunately, we divide our lives into two compartments. There is the part of life when we remember that God is present; then there is the part of life when we never think of God at all. We tend to separate our activities which we consider sacred and those that are secular. But if we really understand our Christian faith, we should realize that there should never be a time in our lives when God is not present. We should always live our lives in the eyes of the Master.
The unwise servant felt that he had plenty of time to put things right before the master came home. There is nothing so fatal in our lives than to think that we have all the time in the world. Jesus said, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” The writer Sir James Barrie in his old age would never make plans or send invitations for a future date. “Short Notice now!” he would say.
One of the saddest days of a person’s life is when they realize that there is no tomorrow and they have left with regret and work undone!
Grace and Peace,