Daily Devotion 29 September 2020

Create a peaceful space to pause, and allow yourself to feel God’s presence alongside you, as near to you as your own breath. In following the reflection below, as a church we will draw closer to God and to one another as we grow in faith and deepen our sense of belonging to God.

Luke 12:35-38, 40 ‘Found Ready and Waiting’

35 “Be ready for whatever comes, dressed for action and with your lamps lit, 36 like servants who are waiting for their master to come back from a wedding feast. When he comes and knocks, they will open the door for him at once. 37 How happy are those servants whose master finds them awake and ready when he returns! I tell you, he will take off his coat, have them sit down, and will wait on them. 38 How happy they are if he finds them ready, even if he should come at midnight or even later!  40 And you, too, must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you are not expecting him.”

A friend of mine was on holiday in a remote part of Ireland and wanted to catch a bus to the nearest town. She couldn’t see a timetable at the bus stop in the village, although a bus was standing there empty, but seemingly ready to go. “What time does the bus go?” she asked a local resident, who smiled and answered, “Oh, most any toime!” My friend found that was true; when the driver and the people were ready, the bus left and if you weren’t on board at that moment, you missed it. You had to be prepared when the crucial moment came.

Jesus told a lot of stories about the need to be ready. Amongst them is the parable of the wise and foolish virgins (Matthew 25), where the girls who weren’t prepared with spare lamp oil ended up being shut out of the wedding feast, with the bridegroom telling them, “Truly, I do not know you”. Then there’s the parable of the rich fool (Luke 12), who like many of us was intent on his plans for this life, so that he was unready for death when it came. Jesus told another story of a feast (Luke 14) where, because those invited weren’t ready when the host summoned them, they all missed out on the party.

None of us knows exactly when we will meet our Maker, the only certain thing is that it will happen sometime. As Jesus spelled out clearly in the passage above: “You must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Matthew later reports Jesus saying: “Watch for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

God, our loving heavenly Father, is a merciful God, just and forgiving, so we have no need to be fearful and every reason to look forward to that moment of meeting. But Jesus tells us very definitely that it’s important to be ready.

There’s a lovely story about St. Francis of Assisi. He was hoeing the garden one day, when someone asked him what he would do if he were suddenly to learn that at sunset he would die, that he was going to meet his Maker. His answer was simply, “I would finish hoeing my garden”. He was already prepared.

Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, true light of the world, you guide all humankind to salvation. Give us the courage, strength and grace to build a world of justice and peace, ready for the coming of your kingdom.

Grant that we may walk in your presence, with your love in our hearts, your truth in our minds, your strength in our wills, so that when we finally stand before you we are ready for that moment. May we stand before you with the assurance of your welcome and the joy of our homecoming. Amen.

Reflection and Prayer © 2020 Ann Caffyn.
Image freely available online.

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