Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Faithful Servant

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions. But if that wicked servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards, the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 24:45-51

When I was a young mother, there was a time when we didn't have a washer or dryer and had to do the wash by hand or take it to a laundromat. Going to the laundromat with a child in tow can be a challenge. You do meet lots of people, and can hear some interesting stories and share some interesting conversation. I remember one time when I had been asked by our Sunday School to do a puppet making project with the kid and we needed lots of socks. Buying socks would be expensive for such a large group so I spoke to the laundromat attendant I had gotten to know. I asked her if she ever had single socks left behind. She casually said she did and if I came back tomorrow she would give me what she had. I did return and she handed me two 40 gallon trash bags full of very clean single socks. We had plenty for the project and so many left over that when we moved we could pack all of our cups and glasses in them. We often take for granted the washers and dryers in our lives, the people and machines who take care of basic necessities. And yet will I never forget how much I learned from that one experience, and how grateful I am to have a washer and dryer at my disposal. They are always ready, never complain and do an onerous task for me.

Jesus continues his explanation of how we are to behave in this life - as faithful servants, always ready to respond to God and the people around us. We are instructed that in this season of preparation, opening our hearts and minds to God's spirit moving in and around us is the most important act we can do. And when the crowds press in and the holiday preparations make us weary, it is easy to close down and shut everyone out. Jesus invites us to live fully in the season, preparing for love to take us by storm, to make us new, and to renew the world around us.

Today, I ask God to help me slow down and listen, to breathe and let in the spirit. May hope fill me rather than anxiety and may all do be in the service of God and God's beloved people. May our words and actions stir love in others hearts, may our simple affection and tender caring be the marks of God's presence with us, here and now.

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