43 But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.
Jesus confesses that he doesn’t know the day nor does he know the hour of the coming of the Son of Man, and if he doesn’t know, why would we think that we ought to? Speculation about the time of the return of Christ can become all consuming and Jesus knew that this could be how his people would respond. He wanted his followers to be faithful stewards, those who would not be engaged in speculation.
We have been left in charge and our responsibility is in caring for the Master's house each and every single day. There is to be no deferred maintenance because it will be under continual care. That’s what good stewards do, they monitor and care for the master’s house day in and day out. If the master arrives, everything will in order and no thieves will have broken in for the steward will have been on guard.
What does readiness really look like in our lives? Last evening a gentleman from the power company came by to tell me that they would have to be replacing a pole nearby and therefore our power would likely be out for most of the evening and much of the night. We were going out for a few hours but in preparation for the event we placed candles near the door and chose to use a car not stored in a garage using a garage door opener. We also made sure we had a regular key to get back into the house. We wanted to be prepared for all that it meant not to have electricity last night.
If you knew that Jesus would return today, what would you do to prepare? If there would be a sudden frenzied flurry of activity to catch up on things that you haven’t been doing for him, then we have a problem. Being prepared is recognizing on an on-going basis what it means to be ready. Jesus wanted his followers to know that readiness was active on-going daily participation in his kingdom. Active participation in the kingdom means that when you know that something may be happening to the master’s house — such as the lights going out — you prepare. You are good stewards, you take notice of what is happening and you constantly adapt so that you are managing his affairs the best that you can every single day. That way, when he returns you don’t have to get caught up on things, but things are always up to date.
We have been given a great responsibility as stewards of God’s kingdom. For us, advent is not just a season of the church year, but it is the way in which we live our lives on a daily basis. We are living in the anticipation of the Advent of our Lord — yes, at Christmas — but yes, every single day! The religious leaders of Jesus’ day should have been living in a state of preparedness for the advent of the Messiah. This is our day and our time to be faithful stewards of the house, meticulously caring for the needs and serving in the kingdom. This is advent.
Lord, please empower me to be a faithful steward. Amen.
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