“The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.”
It can be hard to imagine Christmas taking anyone by surprise, especially when it is just a few days away. But when Jesus was born, only a few people saw the kingdom coming. Luke shows that people like Simeon and Anna were waiting, but many others were surprised.
Jesus says they were like servants who forgot their place. Because their master was a long time in coming, they began to act as if they owned the place. They beat their fellow servants and ate and drank to excess. It’s a harsh picture, but it fits the leaders of Jesus’ day who left people like sheep without a shepherd and did not welcome Jesus’ coming. It is also a picture we should pay attention to in a time when parties tempt us to excess, when our celebrations grow ever grander, when we are encouraged to spend ever more on ourselves.
In Jesus’ parable the wise and faithful servants are the ones who are ready for service when their master comes. In today’s world they are feeding their fellow servants, sponsoring refugees, volunteering at food banks and shelters, and more. In these last few days before Christmas let us consider how we can serve others all throughout the year so that we will not be taken by surprise when our Master returns.
Gracious Master who came to serve, “fill us with your love, show us how to serve the neighbors we have from you,” that we may be ready for your coming. In your name we pray. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!