Time – Luke 12:35-48, 54-56

Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps lit….Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he comes….Be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour that you do not expect.

Jesus reveals that time has been entrusted to men. Today’s Blue Book passage reveals the startling incentives and disincentives associated with our stewardship. He even reveals his sliding scale of responsibility….

                        From everyone who has been given much shall much be required.

To mine as much wisdom as possible from Jesus’ words, let’s fast forward 20 years and listen in on an imaginary conversation between Timothy and his spiritual father, the apostle Paul.

Timothy  – What did Jesus mean when he said, “Be dressed in readiness, and keep your lamps alight?”

Paul – Recall the context of Jesus parable was a wedding feast; “Be like men who are waiting for their master when he returns from the wedding feast, so that they may immediately open the door to him when he comes and knocks.” Both Peter and John told me how much Jesus loved to use this parable. They said something came over him when he spoke about the wedding feast; he seemed to invest himself into this particular parable like no other. To Jesus, this feast obviously represented an actual event at the end of time where the guest’s attire was critical.

Allow me to answer your question about readiness by speaking of our baptism which ties directly into this issue of our wedding feast attire. For those of us who have repented and been baptized for the forgiveness of our sins, Christ has become our righteousness – Jesus himself has become our attire. This is the critical thing; being in Christ is the only clothing allowed at the wedding feast.

Recall Timothy, it was by grace you were introduced to faith. And, it was by faith you have been justified before God and can now – clothed in Christ’s righteousness – stand continually and boldly in God’s presence with great joy. It is no longer about you and your performance. In fact, truth be known, you are no longer even alive. You died and were buried with Christ. You have been raised from the dead with Christ and Christ now lives in you. Christ is now your very life.

Timothy  –  OK. I think I understand this, but later in his discourse, Jesus scolds the multitude, saying, “You people are great at predicting the weather based on your experience and observation, why then are you so dull in appreciating what is happening right now? What do you believe Jesus was trying to say?

Paul – What an excellent question Timothy. I believe Jesus used this story to highlight the impossibility and the unprofitability of trying to time his return. To maintain our readiness, he is saying we should not focus directly on the “when” of his return, rather on the fact he has already come. In other words, we keep the door open for the Master best through our understanding that the Holy Spirit already resides in us! Therefore, our stewardship of time is composed in our celebration of what already is. We are new creations in Christ! Our clothing is the brightest as we recall our favored status as God’s children – those invited into, and participating in, an intimate moment by moment communion with the Lord of life.

That imaginary exchange was constructed from teachings by Paul to the church in Asia and in Rome.

Father, that we have been invited to a feast which you have prepared, where you will personally serve, is as blessed a circumstance as a man will ever enjoy. Our anticipation causes our spirits to burn brighter. May you burn so brightly within us that this world will take notice and awaken to the grand reality that today is truly the day of salvation. Amen.










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