My emergency food has an odd life – at first it is kept under lock and key for months without seeing daylight. Then without notice, it is shuffled to the front of a cupboard and consumed with in a week. What makes the difference? The expiration date. At some point the resources you have need to be used or else they are not worth anything.
When Jesus talked about His second coming, He emphasized the need to be prepared for the long-haul, and yet use the tools God has given us (Matthew 25).
In the parable of the ten virgins, five neglected to bring the oil they would need for late hours of the night. Are we prepared to continue serving Jesus no matter which politician gets elected, how the economy fares, if we lose our job, or we are never quite satisfied with the perfect relationship?
In the parable of the talents, the master distributes money resources according to each servant’s ability, then leaves. The two servants who use the funds for investment make a profit. The one who buries his money like a dog is punished. How do we use what God has given us?
The passage that follows these parables emphasizes the importance that God places on our small actions. Jesus the King divided the world into people on His right and those on His left. One group He welcomed as brothers and thanked them for the service they had done for Him. They were confused. When was that?
“40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”
And for those who neglected those they saw in need, there was equal condemnation. Who am I willing to serve?
God, thank You for teaching us how to respond to the world while we wait for Jesus to return. Waiting is such an abstract concept, it is good to have something to do in the meantime. God, You have entrusted us with abilities to serve, save, use our resources wisely. Please help us to reflect on You as we live out this life, remembering that You will come back when we least expect it. To You be the glory, Amen!