Tuesday (October 24): "When the Master knocks - open at once"

Meditation: If the Lord Jesus knocked on your door today would you be ready and eager to receive him? He wants us to be prepared for his coming - today, tomorrow, at the hour of our departure from this life (our death), and when he comes again at the end of this present world to reward those who have believed in him - the only begotten Son of the Father in heaven who was sent to deliver us from sin and death. The Lord Jesus calls to us each and every day. He says, "Listen! I am standing and knocking at your door. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will eat together" (Revelations 3:20).

Be watchful and ready to serve the Lord when he calls
Jesus told his followers a parable from everyday life that illustrated the necessity of being prepared to open the door at once when the Master of the house knocks and calls for his servants to let him in. Doors in the ancient world were often bolted from the inside, especially at night, to keep out thieves and troublemakers. Servants who knew their master's voice were expected to be vigilant and prepared to unbolt the door and let him in without a moment's delay. This required a listening ear and attentive spirit that could block out other noises and distractions. If the servants refused to answer the door or delayed too long, they could expect a rebuke or punishment from the master.

The Lord and Master serves us
But Jesus' story adds an unexpected reward for those who open at once - even in the middle of the night when everyone is fast asleep. The master who returns from a wedding feast to his home late at night does the unthinkable when his servants greet him at the door. He puts on a servant's uniform and apron and seats his servants at his own table. And then - to their astonishment no doubt - the master himself waits on his servants at table by serving them his choice food and drink. Jesus' parable turns the world's way of thinking upside-down. The master rewards his faithful servants by serving them himself with the best provision, care, and service he can offer.

The Lord Jesus became a servant for our sake
This story illustrates the amazing generous spirit, servant-hearted love, and profound humility of God who is the exalted Lord and Master over all he has created. The Father sent his only begotten Son to become a man for our sake who shed his blood for us on the cross to ransom us from slavery to sin, Satan, and death. Paul the Apostle tells us that Jesus who was equal with the Father, nonetheless, humbled himself and became a servant for our sake (Philippians 2:5-8).

Do you listen for the voice of the Lord calling to you? And are you ready to receive him today so that you may be nourished with his life-giving word that has power to transform you into his likeness and way of steadfast love and merciful goodness? The Lord Jesus offers us rich food and provision for our daily lives. But we can miss his daily provision if we allow our hearts, minds, and ears to be distracted with other things - even good things that crowd out his voice and invitation to let him enter and feast with us.

The Lord loves faithfulness
Jesus' parable also has an important lesson for each one of us as well. Just as Jesus was faithful and ready to obey his Father in everything - even to the point of laying down his life for us on the cross, we, too are called to be faithful and ready to do whatever our heavenly Father's commands us. How can we serve as Jesus served and be faithful to the end of our days? Only love - the love which God has poured into our hearts through the Spirit which has been given to us (Romans 5:5) - can transform us and fill us with joy and courage in offering our lives in humble service to God and one another. The Lord Jesus sets us free from fear and selfish pride so we can love and serve as he has loved us (Ephesians 5:2). Ask the Lord to give you a servant heart and a willing spirit that is ready to listen and eager to obey.

"Lord Jesus, you loved me first and you gave your life for me. Fill me with a joyful heart and a generous spirit that is ready to serve and to do whatever you command."

This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/