Luke 12:35-40

“Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; 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. 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. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.”

“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. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Luke 12:35-40

Have you seen any good Ten Commandments cartoons lately? I can only think of two. Neither is very good. The second is probably in bad taste for a morning devotion but I can’t help myself.

In one of them, you see Moses talking to the people of Israel. “I’ve got good news and bad news. I couldn’t talk God out of the first ten but God did agree to add an 11th commandment. ‘Thou shalt not sweat it.’”

In the second, you see Moses talking to the people of Israel. “I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that I whittled God down to ten. The bad news is that adultery is still in there.”

I was with a member of our congregation yesterday whose mother passed away in the night. As we sat together in the living room, the woman brought out a picture of her mother’s confirmation class. They were beautiful. All the girls were in the front row wearing identical white dresses. All the boys were in the back in suits and ties.

I looked at that picture and immediately had two thoughts. First, wow, that was a different day. I can’t imagine how different it was to teach a confirmation class back then compared to way we do it today. And I can’t imagine all of our kids dressed like that. I wish I could say that it is just that our sense of fashionable style has changed but that would be trivial. The whole tenor of congregational life, of the expectations of confirmation as a rite of passage, and the meaningfulness of the experience has made a definite shift. It is a lot more challenging today.

And my second thought was that all of those kids are now around 79 years old. We lost one of their class members last night. I wonder how many are left?

In these verses Jesus invites us into a sense of urgency in our Christian lives. We don’t have forever on this earth to make an earthly difference – to see that God’s will is done and that God’s kingdom comes, on earth as it will in heaven.

That doesn’t have to be a morbid thought but it does need to challenge us just as it challenged those first disciples who heard Jesus speak. We DO need to sweat it because the qualitative difference that faithful Christians make in the world DOES matter! And YES, there are very real, very negative consequences to rest content that the Ten Commandments are posted on a wall somewhere rather than seeing them burned into the hearts and imaginations of the people of God so that they actually function as intended – as boundaries around our behaviors and as mirrors to our sin.

Let us pray: Dear Lord, keep us steadfast in our faith. Plant burning seeds of faithfulness, willingness, eagerness, and courage in our hearts. May our prayers be fervent, our song be full-throated, and our actions match the depth of your love. Help us live today out of gratitude, grace, and expectancy. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


One Response to “Luke 12:35-40”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Yes. Boundaries are easier than mirrors aren’t they.

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