"... my dearest friends! The Father wants to give you the
very kingdom itself.
"Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that
can't go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe
from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It's obvious, isn't
it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most
want to be, and end up being.
"Keep your shirts on; keep the lights on! Be like house
servants waiting for their master to come back from his honeymoon,
awake and ready to open the door when he arrives and knocks.
Lucky the servants whom the master finds on watch! He'll put
on an apron, sit them at the table, and serve them a meal, sharing
his wedding feast with them. It doesn't matter what time of the
night he arrives; they're awake--and so blessed!
"You know that if the house owner had known what night the
burglar was coming, he wouldn't have stayed out late and left
the place unlocked. So don't you be slovenly and careless. Just
when you don't expect him, the Son of Man will show up."
<The Message >
Have you ever tried to substitute the phrase "presence of
GOD" for the image of the "kingdom"? If this is
done for a month or so we find ourselves opened up to the loving
GOD so wonderfully seen by Julian of Norwich. It also becomes
easier to see ourselves as "friends" of Jesus.
How have you found yourself entering into friendship with Jesus?
Is it an idea? a doctrine? an experience? . . . ? This is a key
to the whole passage. This is a key to the whole of life.
Not everyone comes to friendship in the same way. For some it
is a magical moment. For some it is something grown into. For
some it is always on the horizon and for others always a disappointment.
It would be helpful to reflect on friendship - both personal
and congregational. How do you make friends as an individual?
How does your congregation make friends? This will be an issue
not only of one's personal morale but congregational growth.
We often talk about that church word "discipleship"
when we might more easily and constructively talk about encouraging
folks to become "friends" with one another, with the
Bible, with Jesus, with their self. I suspect we would be better
off with a relativity of friendship/hospitality rather than the
static/mechanical image of making disciples.
It is in friendship and gratitude that tables are able to be
turned - servants are served. When we are friends we seek out
the best for one another, even if it means staying up late to
watch for (and worry about?).
Who are you willing to stay up late for? and why?
Don't you simply love surprises?
What! only "good" surprises?
May you be surprised by a new friendship this day, this week.
May it change your life.
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