“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,
like men (servants) waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet,
so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.”
~ Luke 12:35
Jesus offers a warning to his disciples, “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning.” There is an urgency in his call. He wants them to be ready at all times. It is a call to which I must listen.
It is easy to think there is always more time. I can put my enjoyment, my personal preferences, and my pursuits first, because I think that spiritual matters can wait. This is one of the devil’s most effective temptations. It is also one which regularly traps me. This is why Jesus’ urgent warning is so important.
The picture Jesus offers may strike me as unusual, but it is effective. To be dressed ready for service and keep my lamp burning implies a specific readiness. It is a readiness which prepares me to welcome my Savior at any moment. If he comes quickly, I am ready. If he delays, I am still ready. Regardless of when he comes I will never assume I have more time.
This readiness can only come through a life centered on God’s Word. It is that Word of Truth which makes me his servant. It also equips me to serve. It even encourages me to serve daily, faithfully, and joyfully.
Still, there will be times when I struggle. There will be times, too, when I grumble and complain. This is when I need to look at what my Savior accomplished for me through his undeserved love and devoted service. By focusing on what he has done for me, I can fight the temptation to put off serving him. I can also be ready to welcome him whenever he comes.
O gracious Lord, you have made me your servant. Keep me faithful and faithfully serving so that I will always be ready for the time when you return. Amen.