“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand 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, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
Be prepared. That's the essential message. Be ready.
Jesus will return. We don't know when. But it will happen. And we'd best be ready.
I like to think I'm ready, willing, and able.
But I'm not. Not always, at least. Not to the extent Jesus calls us to be ready.
I haven't sold my possessions and given to the poor. Just a couple of days ago I was in some antique and thrift shops looking for a few books that I've been trying to hunt down. Jesus makes is clear, however, that valuing treasures on earth cause us to miss out on treasures in Heaven.
But I can't give away all my possessions...not really, not with a family to take care of. Child Services will be knocking on my door (unless I've already given that away) if my children don't have certain things.
But what do I value? Do I value what I own over the relationships I have? Would I be willing to part with something for a stranger in need? A loaf of bread, a few dollars, maybe. But what about something special to me? Do I have things I treasure more than God?
I could be wrong, but I don't think Jesus is necessarily saying we can't own things. Yes, we may be better off spiritually without worldly attachments, but I also believe God doesn't mind us having possessions (otherwise, why would Job gain back everything he lost tenfold?). I do believe, though, that God is concerned about where our heart is with what we own. Do we cling to it, or do we hold it loosely so that God may use it?
"Be dressed, ready for service" (v. 35)...Being prepared means being ready to serve when God calls us to do so, and I think our possessions may come into play there. Generosity.
It all centers around the Master. When our focus is on Him, everything else is secondary to His will.
Am I ready? Not completely. But I want to be. I try to be.