The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Luke 12:35-48

Vigilance

As one can see, the word “vigilance,” which I have chosen for the title of this devotion, comes from the word, “vigil,” which means to keep watch, keep awake, or guard, as on the eve of a holy day, as was the case in the Middle Ages.  This is a practice few in the Church keep anymore.  It was a practice especially kept on the Saturday night before Easter, with prayers and liturgies, keeping watch for the resurrection of our Lord.

Today’s passage is about “keeping watch” for our Lord’s coming – his Second Coming, to be exact.  I suppose it could be extended to refer to anytime our Lord may call us to ministry or service which we must be prepared to render to another.  But I really don’t want to water down the meaning here.  The images are powerful: the messianic banquet at the end of time when our Lord will actually serve those who were waiting and found faithful upon his return (he’ll serve us?); and the harsh treatment of those found unfaithful when he returns, who were not only not watching and waiting but behaving wickedly, which is to be expected when servants stop watching and waiting.  We are either faithful or faithless, either doing good deeds or evil deeds.  We are never at rest in the eyes of our Lord; we are either growing in grace or growing in wickedness.

Indeed, the wicked servant is wicked because he tells himself, “My master is delayed in his coming.”  It is then that he begins to abuse those around him.  This shows how vital to our faith and holiness a proper understanding of our Lord’s Second Coming is for us.  I agree with the saying that “integrity is what you are when no one else is watching.”  But we must always be mindful that our heavenly Father is watching – and He expects us to be watching as well – watching for His Son’s return.  When we are about to go somewhere, we prepare, we get ready, we pack our bags, we organize our things.  Indeed, when it’s a place we want to visit, we’ll even endure a long drive or the cost of plane tickets, for the joy of reaching our destination.  Well, God’s people are supposed to be preparing for a wonderful trip, an exciting trip that will not be just a visit but a glorious change and permanent new home in glory.  In anticipation for that trip, we must be about our Father’s business – rooting sin out of our lives, killing the old man and putting on the new, serving others in Jesus’ name, warning others that his return is imminent and the time short.  In my Grandmother’s old country church, they would sing, “I’ll Fly Away,” with an intensity that could be felt.  May we live our lives with the same intensity before the Day of his return.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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