Reflection on The Gospel of Luke 12: 32-40, Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, August 7, 2022

The Gospel of Luke 12: 32-40 

Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.  “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Let us Pray: Dear Lord as we face the fears of each day, help us be patient and respect the needs of others. We need to look in the right places for God’s Kingdom. To find solace in this turmoil world we face each day. To thank our Lord for each day we have. This we pray in your Name.  Amen.

The reality of present-day life is that fear and anxiety seem to increasingly shape our lives.  All we need do is look at the mass shootings, Covid 19 Virus, Monkey Pox Virus, turmoil in politics and we can see why people live in fear.  Even our youngest children among us now must go through the ritual of active shooting drills as part of their educational experience, something that I am sure creates anxiety and fear within these young minds and bodies.  What have we become and what kind of fear are we instilling in our children?  In addition to this one aspect of life, the twenty-four-hour-a-day newsfeed instills all kinds of fear in people’s lives. The newsfeed communicates political voices spewing forth rhetoric that incite fear, especially fear of others.  There is fear of terrorism – both foreign and domestic, fear of a volatile economy and our financial situation, fear of climate change, unemployment, war, hunger, poverty, homelessness, disease, and death.  The effect these forms of fear have on our culture and our lives has been and is devastating. 

Consequently, I think many of us have deep concerns and ask questions like:

How might I live in order to know that I am safe and secure?                                     Where is the place of security for me and those I love?

With all these concerns we still are shaken by the events of the past year, we desperately need to hear the words Jesus is speaking in Luke’s Gospel. Even through the expanse of time, Jesus’ teachings to us offer extraordinary words of comfort.  The precious words Jesus speaks to us today can never be heard too often.  “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is God’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”  These words provide the absolute assurance we need to hear in order to resist the extensive fearmongering and the many voices of doom surrounding us every day.  These words are so timely for us today. As we sit and wait for the worse to happen, we find that the reality of life is waiting. Waiting for someone to show up, for something to happen, for things to change. Another reality of life is that most of us do not like waiting. We become impatient, even angry, waiting on those we feel are slow or inattentive.  Sometimes it seems like life is nothing more than waiting. you can understand this if you have ever been in the military where one hurries up to wait. So where do we go when our thoughts drift while we are waiting? Do we rehash the news or to we look forward to more pleasant thoughts? Such as God loves you!  It is God’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.  You are accepted and loved as you are by God, your loving parent.  Do not fear!  These are words of comfort and reassurance in an increasingly threatening world. Today’s gospel is not, however, simply about passing time. It is about presence and being present. Jesus sees waiting as an act of faithfulness; the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. We need to be reminded of in all of this is that God’s Kingdom is already among us, thanks to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. God’s Kingdom is alive and well among us in this world, we just have a hard time seeing and experiencing and sharing it – because we tend to look in all the wrong places or we live in ways that don’t reveal it to us. And it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom, not just then and there, on the other side of eternity. But it is God’s good pleasure, God’s desire, God’s intention to give us the Kingdom, right here and now, as a sign of things to come. So, we are mistaken if we think today’s gospel describes an absent God, a God who left some time ago, for whom we wait. We are equally mistaken if we think we are waiting for a God who lives out in the future.  God’s Kingdom is not something we’re waiting for at the end of time or on that day when we’ll meet our maker, but it is among us now this very moment. “Be like those waiting for their master to return.”

Let us Pray: Creator God, in this uncertain time as war continues, drive away despair from our politics, revive our dreams of justice and truth, restore our passion for what is good and right and give to our leaders wisdom and sensitivity to work for unity and the common good so that our children and grandchildren might enjoy peace throughout the world This we pray in the Name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

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