The followers of Jesus live in the light of their Master’s promised return. He is “the Bridegroom” who is “delayed” in coming to the wedding. The church must “watch” for Him, not “drowsy” in the midst of the work He has given, but filled with the heavenly “oil” of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord told His followers a story where He was a “Man going on a long journey” and they were “servants” entrusted with “talents” distributed to each “according to his ability.” One worker refused to love the Giver of every gift, claiming that the Son of God was a “hard man.” The truth was plain: That subordinate was “wicked and slothful,” unable to find joy in the glorious God who provided everything. Such a rebellious child will never hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
The “King” will soon come in judgment. He will be a “Shepherd” who “separates the sheep and the goats,” one group destined for “eternal punishment” and the other for “eternal life.” What will be the evidence of righteousness the Lord requires to prove the genuineness of a divine work of grace? He will not be impressed with our deference toward the rich and famous, but will see true spirituality in the lives of those who care for the weak. When the lovers of God labor for “the least of these my brothers,” they serve the Messiah who is willing to associate His own divine Person with those who are ignored or despised by most of their neighbors.
The Savior who gave Himself on the cross and then rose from the dead will eventually be seen by all humanity as the Judge of all the earth. He calls those who bow before Him in worship to watch for the fullness of His future kingdom. Until the dawn of that best of all days, let us use our God-given gifts to serve the rejected, looking to enter into God’s everlasting joy at the time that He alone has appointed.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
God of heaven and earth, when You come in judgment, will we be waiting for You with faith, hope, and love? Please do not exclude us from that marriage feast. You have given us certain talents according to Your will. We want to use what we have for Your glory. Frustrate the enemy of our souls who desires that we would have no fruit. We will not bury the gifts that we have received. Your children long to hear the words that You will speak when You call us good and faithful servants. Lead us by Your presence so that we will help the least among us with joy. We bow before You, Lord God, and we thank You for Your church. Your worshipers seek that moment of our bodily entrance into the world of eternal life. We commit to Your care our riches, our friends, our loved ones, and even our own lives, and we look for the day of Your Son’s return.