19 October 2021
35Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning. 36Then you will be like servants waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. 37Blessed are those servants whom the master finds on watch when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve and will have them recline at the table, and he himself will come and wait on them. 38Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, those servants will be blessed.
Todays Gospel speaks of a perpetual state of readiness, for the return of Christ. Personally, I read any account of the return of Christ in two ways. the second way is to do with the final coming of Christ at a time appointed by God when he will return and establish his throne on earth forever. But I also read it as a present reality. When Christ knocks on our door and calls us to action for him., when a situation is a divine appointment; and we can have these continually. The more we listen to God the more we see that every moment is an opportunity for us to serve God and fulfil His will. Every encounter with another is an opportunity to bring the hope the healing the love of God into someone’s life. Our interactions with others can be sacred moments, if when our master calls us we are expecting him and we are expecting God to bring the Kingdom to the situation. Often we are unaware that God is present and active in our lives, in our relationships and in our activities. We are asleep to the possibilities. We feel surrounded by darkness and despair as if it is the middle of the night, but it is in that very darkness and despair that we can expect the revelation of the Christ and the love of God to change that situation. In the words of the psalmist to prepare a table in the presence of my enemies.
In bible times a lamp was made with a wick floating in oil and needed to be tended otherwise it would go out. We think of a candle as something that you light and blow out and relight. or we think of light as something that you just switch on and off. But here we are reminded that the light needs to be nurtured. Your faith is like this lamp. You need to keep the oil full, and the wick trimmed. You need to nurture your faith through scripture reading, you need to trim your wick through repentance, repentance requires self-evaluation and an honest presentation to God of your life seeking forgiveness healing and refilling of the Holy Spirit. It is about emptying ourselves and being filled with the Holy Spirit as our oil, our source of power.
In the penitence we ask to be forgiven for those things that we have done and left undone; for the times when we were not ready for Christ, the times we missed the opportunity to serve him, to bring the Kingdom to any given situation and to glorify God. The times that we were impatient or distracted with our own thoughts or indifferent to another.
Today in the second or third watch of your night, today in areas of your life where are not recognising God at work, where there is despair, loss, unhappiness, doubt and fear; trim your lamp! Be expectant! If you are not looking out for it you may not recognise the presence of God, the action of God. As Elijah experienced, God is often in the whisper the little things and not only in the expansive and obvious. God is in a smile, a kind word, an act of respect, a word of warning, a birdsong or a scripture reading. God is speaking to us through every aspect of creation and life, are you listening? Are you dressed for service, ready to do something for God? Is your lamp burning? We are not saved by works but it is required that we work at our lives. That we read our bibles, study God’s word, and pray. Prayer must be an interaction with God, an emptying of self and a making room for godly thoughts and godly intentions. Trimming our wicks to be prepared for what God is going to do in our lives is an essential part of our “Life in Christ.” We call this religion or spirituality. The things we do to prepare ourselves to hear God and understand His words to us. Our commitment our devotion to being prepared.
Do not just live for that final day but live for today. Christ is coming to you today, make sure you are awake and that you recognise Him and that you welcome him and respond to him, and you will be blessed.
Almighty God our heavenly Father in penitence we confess that we have sinned against you in thought word and deed and what we have left undone. Reorder our lives, fill us afresh with the Holy Spirt that we may be ready to serve you today. Remove from us all doubt and fear of failure so that we may be prepared and willing and able to serve you. Thank you, Jesus, that you are coming into my life today and drawing us into the Kingdom and establishing your Kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. We submit to you, for you live and reign with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever Amen.