Watch For the Owner
Have you ever been house-sitting? Someone, probably a relative, goes on vacation and so they ask you to watch over the house, get their mail, and feed their dog. Of course, the owner never would have asked this of you if they didn’t think you were responsible. The owner is coming back to the house at some point, and this person has the hope that the house will still be standing when they return. As a house sitter you are expected to act in such a way that prepares for the owner’s happy return. Jesus uses this image to teach His disciples: “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back… What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’” (Mark 13:35,37). What if the owner comes back and the place is a wreck? What if the mailbox is overflowing and important letters have been rained on? What if the dog has starved to death? Then I suspect you don’t get paid. (And your house-sitting career is likely over).
Jesus tells us that every Christian is to wait for the return of the owner. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet call of God” (1 Thessalonians 4:16). We are all called to remember that Jesus will, at some point, return. Remembering this fact is an important part of following Jesus’ command to watch. Remembering this fact will encourage you to be responsible with all the things that Jesus has put into your care. Perhaps we will be kinder or more generous or a little more careful to not break things if we remember that we will one day stand before the One to whom we must give an account.
Perhaps the greatest challenge with remembering to watch is how long we have been waiting. The Owner has been away for a long time and these days attention spans are not great. “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised?” (2 Peter 3:4). Maybe we don’t ask this out loud, but is this question found in our heart? Are we still waiting? Are will still hoping and praying for the return of Jesus? Or has the delay led to our hearts turning to the things of this world, things we do not have to wait for? Church, never forget that the owner is coming back. When that happens it will be good for the servants who are found prepared and watching. They will receive their reward.