Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Luke 12:35-36 ESV
When I was little, I was so excited when I was finally allowed to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve. Our family popped popcorn, assembled a 1000- piece jigsaw puzzle, and started a game of Risk. On the TV, Dick Clark counted down the hours until the magic moment of the New Year’s arrival. Inevitably, I would fall asleep long before the clock chimed twelve. I would wake up the next morning in my bed with disappointment washing over me wondering what I had missed. No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t make it until midnight. Inescapably, January 1 arrived without me. My inability to stay awake consistently left me feeling disappointed at missing the exact moment the New Year arrived.
I thought about my New Year’s Eve experience recently as I was reading Luke 12. Tucked inside this chapter is a little verse about missing out on a unique and wonderful experience on account of not being able to wait. Slipped in amongst teachings about rich fools and anxiousness is a short parable about the reward found in waiting. Using lamps, servants, and weddings, Jesus slides a simple story of a profound blessing encountered through faithful waiting.
Much like our tradition of staying up to usher in the New Year, Jewish weddings contained the tradition of staying up to usher the bride and groom into their new home. In Jewish culture, the groom’s house was prepared and readied for the couple’s arrival long before the wedding day. After the wedding ceremony and celebration feast, the groom would bring his bride home to the place he had prepared for her. The servants were instructed to be ready to open the door as soon as he knocked. Not knowing how long the feast would last or when the couple would arrive, the servants were to be ready to let them in no matter what. That was their job—wait, watch, and open the door when the master knocked.
The beauty of the waiting described in verse 36 is found in verse 37, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them” Luke 12:37 ESV. By waiting for the groom to arrive, the servants were then treated to the groom himself serving them leftovers from the wedding feast.
Picture it. The groom tells them to sit down. He brings in the lamb, fruit and wine setting it on the table in front of them. He then pulls up a chair, instructs them to eat up, and begins describing the evening’s festivities in detail. His face lights up as he talks about his bride. He laughs as he recounts the dancing and drinking. Joy fills the room. The servants are blessed in this moment with the master because they stayed alert and opened the door when he knocked.
It’s easy to think about these verses solely in terms of Christ’s future return, but I see another lesson here. I see Jesus calling us to open the door to daily fellowship with him. You see, the servants would have missed out on this moment with their master if they weren’t listening for his knock at the door.
Likewise, if we are not careful we can miss Jesus’ knock on the door in our own lives and miss out on the moments he wants to spend with us (Revelation 3:20).
I missed many New Year’s celebrations because I fell asleep. In the same way, I don’t want to miss moments with my Savior because I didn’t hear Him knocking. I don’t know about you, but my life is busy and filled with distractions (family, work, social media, worries, household chores and to do lists). If I am not careful, the cacophony of noise around me can drown out the knock at my heart’s door. Turning down the noise and listening for my Savior’s knock takes intentionality. Just like the servants in the parable had to tend their wicks to keep their lamps burning, I have to purposefully make time to slow down and pay attention in order to hear Christ’s invitation to come and sit with Him.
For me, His knock may come while I am outside running, walking, or sitting. It might be while I am driving. Other times His summoning can come when I am home alone and quiet. But, the key for me is to recognize His knock, slow my thoughts, let Him in, and listen to what He wants to say in my life at that moment. Personally, I don’t want to miss the experience of His companionship like I missed out on celebrating New Year’s so long ago. I want to carve out time in my day to be still in order to listen and watch for the sound of Christ’s voice in my life.
Maybe you feel like Jesus hasn’t stopped by your house in a while. Maybe, you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed His companionship. The truth is, He is still outside your heart’s door waiting to come in. I challenge you today to turn down the noise around you and listen for His tap on your heart. When you hear it, open the door, let Him in, pause, and enjoy a precious moment with your Savior.
Between a husband, 2 sons, and teaching high school my sanity is found in running and Starbucks. I have a circle of running friends who inspire me to be authentic and real as I live a life of faith before them.