Celebrates Twenty Years of equipping and supporting faith communities!

A message for the week starting on Sunday 7 August 2022

Lectionary Week: 9th Sunday of Pentecost

Prescribed Texts: Isaiah 1:1, 10-20, Psalm 50:1-8, 22-23, Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16, Luke 12:32-40

We Find Security in Christ

Focus Text: Luke 12: 32-40

Living in a world that has corruption, violence and femicide, plus the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and just barely recovering from COVID-19, how can we trust God with all our hearts? We are engulfed by fear and anxiety, but in spite of all of these challenges, God is still in control. We need to find security in Christ. The word “flock” is a reminder that God is a Shepherd to the Faithful. While we think about minor things for ourselves, He has greater plans for us.

A promise of a ‘kingdom’ will sound far-fetched, but with God anything is possible, if we believe. Our Father knows our needs. If we seek the Kingdom of God, He will give us both the Kingdom and everything else that we need. In verse 22 Jesus is speaking about trusting God, while also seeking the Kingdom. God eagerly wants the Kingdom to reflect His intentions.

Then Jesus tells a parable about slaves who wait vigilantly for their Lord to return home (12:35-38). This is not passive waiting, but careful preparations. Jesus’ basic point is that faithfulness demands diligence. The parable also focuses attention on the surprise of a master who chose to serve dinner to his slaves. Normally the opposite would be expected, but this showed humility. Even the slaves appear to be caught off guard by their master’s hospitality.

Jesus continues to discuss the need for readiness. He speaks of a house owner who needs to remain alert because a thief will not let him know when the break-in will occur. If anyone has grown too complacent with Jesus being compared to a lord who serves dinner to his slaves, now something about Jesus’ return resembles an act of breaking and entering.

When Jesus speaks about wealth and generosity, that deserves additional attention because He is speaking about more than writing checks. According to Him, almsgiving involves more than charity in a condescending or transactional way. Almsgiving is an expression of true solidarity with others. This is solidarity that refuses to let inequalities stand, because Jesus wants His followers to depend on Him and Him alone. In other words, Jesus calls for a shift away from a world in which some people survive only because more privileged people chose to act morally from time to time. He has in mind, instead, a different world or ‘kingdom’. With Christ, that ‘kingdom’ has arrived.

To think about: How can we prepare for the Lord’s coming, if we are not aware of what is happening around us to our brothers and sisters? How can we truly call ourselves as being faithful to God, when we are not faithful to other people? We are living in a world where the plight of women and children is being ignored. Are we truly servants of God, when we don’t serve one another with dignity and respect?

Written by: Ms. Baphiwe Nxumalo, trained Churches Channels of Hope (CCoH) facilitator