what will you do?

Matt. 24:1-28:20; Acts 1:1-4:37

St. Francis of Assisi (b. 1182) was hoeing his garden one afternoon when a friend, passing by, stopped and asked, “Francis, what would you do if you knew that at sunset this evening you would be standing in the presence of Jesus Christ?” Francis thought a moment and said, “I would finish hoeing my garden.”

As the Gospel of Matthew is concluding, Jesus is especially interested in preparing His followers, not just for His departure and Second Coming, but for the period of time between the two. The disciples wanted to know when He would return and what to watch for (Matthew 24:3). Jesus gave them signs, but He emphasized the importance of knowing how to live while He was away.

In the closing hours of His earthly ministry, Jesus taught them (and us) to be faithful and wise servants in His absence (24:45ff); to be a wise ‘virgin’ with oil for our lamps, prepared for the return of the Bridegroom (25:1ff); to faithfully invest the talents we have been given – for “after a long time the Master of those servants returned” (25:14ff); and to help other people in very practical ways, for in serving others we are ultimately serving Him. And when He returns to separate the sheep from the goats, these very works will be mentioned (25:31ff).

God is looking, not just for ‘superstar-saints’ with great works of faith, but for regular people, faithful in doing what He has called them to do, whether the work is small or great. Jesus calls us all, like St. Francis, to ‘hoe our garden’ and live our everyday lives in the light of His coming, always watching for His return. What has God called you to do? “Blessed is the servant whom his Master finds so doing when He returns.” (24:46)

Today's Blogger: Dick Grout

Tomorrow's Text: Acts 5:1-15:41