Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Whose slave are you?

42 And the Lord said, “Who then is the faithful wise manager whom the master will put in charge over his servants to give them their food allowance at the right time?” (Luke 12)

From head to heart then, the road we must walk, the path we must pave.  From knowledge to action.  From philosophy to propellant.  It does us no good to know what we are to be, what we are to do if we do not do it.  47 And that slave who knew the will of his master and did not prepare or do according to his will will be given a severe beating.”  Jesus began this text with warnings against hypocrisy.  Here he returns to it.  Over and over, Jesus keeps saying the same things in differing ways.  Live genuine.  Live as a slave of God.  If you do, people will hate you.  Live genuine.  Live as a slave of God.  If you do…  Why? 

Because we’re shtoopit, cuz why!  Because we don’t believe him.  Because we see the world and the way it works and we think, no matter what we say we believe, we truly act as if this is all there is!  We spend the first half of our lives as if we will never die.  We spend the last half of our lives afraid of dying.  We hoard and collect the perishable as if that were the only goal to life.  We worry incessantly about things far beyond our control and spend exorbitant amounts of resources and energy trying to gain control of them anyway.  It’s madness!  Noisy, wasteful, arrogant, self-centered insanity and this season, Christmas, is the greatest illustration: blinking lights; incessant background noise; business, business; drive, push, imperatives to spend all we haven’t on the worthless and unnecessary and for what?  For fear we will be thought unloving, unkind, unpatriotic?  Which is another way of showing we fear if we don’t perform as intended we won’t be loved.

As constant and persistent as a bubbling brook set back in the forest far from the furious rage of the strip mall strewn highway, Jesus whispers, “For this reason I tell you, do not be anxious for your life, what you will eat, or for your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, that they neither sow nor reap; to them there is neither storeroom nor barn, and God feeds them. How much more are you worth than the birds? 25 And which of you by being anxious is able to add an hour to his life span? 26 If then you are not even able to do a very little thing, why are you anxious about the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they do not toil or spin, but I say to you, not even Solomon in all his glory was dressed like one of these. 28 But if God clothes the grass in the field in this way, although it is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he do so for you, you of little faith? 29 And you, do not consider what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not be anxious. 30 For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek his kingdom and these things will be added to you.
32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, because your Father is well pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give charitable gifts. Make for yourselves money bags that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven where thief does not approach or moth destroy. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Who then is the wise servant?  The one who acknowledges he or she is a servant in the first place.  One who knows that all he or she has belongs to someone else, to someone greater.  But Jesus tells us one who, unlike earthly masters, loves us.  A master who wishes to come and give us all things.  A master who wants to come and serve us!  37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master will find on the alert when he returns! Truly I say to you that he will dress himself for service and have them recline at the table and will come by and serve them.” 

I know you see the world as it is.  I get it.  No one’s more cynical than me.  Here you must earn your keep.  Here you must perform or be cast out.  Here you must protect what little you have or someone or something else will take it.  Here we are constantly put in boxes and categories.  Here no one knows you.  No one takes the time to know you because they are too busy trying to get you to notice them.  The master of this world puts you on a treadmill.  The master of this world doesn’t love you.  Owes you nothing.  You are food to him.  The miracle is: Jesus sees it too!  He’s not saying the world isn’t this way.  He’s saying, we don’t belong to the world!  We belong to Him!  And in His house, things work a little differently!  You’ve been purchased from the master of this world by the Master to come!  The King over All.  Stop serving the old master!

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