New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
39 “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
When I was little, back in the days before cell phones, internet and scheduled playdates, the front window of the living room was my view of the world. I watched my parents leave us with a babysitter to go to a party from the yellow rocking chair by the front door and sat there waiting very impatiently for my first date to arrive to pick me up a few years later. My 9th birthday party was my first slumber party and I waited at that window for the first of my 9 friends to arrive. My sister fell over the handlebars of her bike and opened up a nice gash on her chin and we waited there on the porch for Mom to come home with a washcloth covering the wound. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up because I knew that being adult had to be so much better than the limits of being a kid (!!!!!!!) and I waited for the phone to ring when I got my first teaching job. We hurry to arrive at the airport in time to wait for the plane to board and we wait until winter or summer or whatever season for the weather to change from the current unbearable state. We wait a lot.
In the reading for this week from Luke, there are two messages that really stick out to me. The first message is about where we put our treasures. This is a theme from the last few weeks that continues to niggle right into my brain and shake a finger at me. We must stop collecting THINGS and start collecting our faith and trust in Jesus. Move out the stuff that is standing in the way of that perfect relationship with Christ and invest our time, talent and treasure in Kingdom work with God. Ok, ok….I think I am starting to get the picture!
The second message that I take from today’s reading is that waiting by the window for the time to be with Jesus isn’t really helpful. There is no way to be fully ready by just sitting and doing nothing as we wait for our entrance to the Kingdom of God. We must continually discern God’s will for us and be ready at any time. The other day, I had some friends coming over and needed to run to the restroom before they arrived. Wouldn’t you know that they picked that exact time to knock on the door – and I wasn’t ready! In thinking about being ready for Jesus, I don’t want to be caught unavailable, not matter the time of day/night or the circumstances. My heart needs to be ready to come face to face with that very real future. My sinful desires, my gossipy snippets, my anger and frustration with others – will those be the very moments where God is revealed to me and I miss it entirely?
Waiting for Jesus…means actively getting ready. Preparing through our thoughts, words and actions; discerning his will for us and getting back on track when we veer away. I want to be ready.
Gracious Father, help me to discern your will and serve you in all I think, say and do. May I honor your name and be alert and ready when you need me the most. I pledge to you the treasure that is in my heart. In your name I pray. AMEN.