In today’s Gospel from St. Luke, Jesus tells the parable of the servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, contrasting the servants “whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival” with those did not make preparations for the masters arrival. “You also must be prepared,” Jesus tells his disciples, “for at an hour you do not expect the Son of Man will come.”
These words can be read in a number of different ways. We can read as saying “you don’t know when the end is coming,” end referring either to our own death or Jesus’ final coming. And it is certainly beneficial to live with an awareness that our end could come at any time. That is something we know intellectually, but we still live and behave as thought we had all the time in the world. (Think about how many times you think about next year’s vacation, or what you will do when you retire, etc. Always with the assumption that time will be there.) An awareness that our end could come at any time can be a powerful motivator.
But as I prayed with the passage this morning, I read it as also serving as a reminder that God can appear to us in any moment, in any situation.
God often appears to us in unexpected ways. But we can easily miss God’s presence if we are not open to it. It is very easy to box God in, having preconceived notions about how and where God will make God’s presence known.
Being aware of God where God is (already) present requires an openness. And we need to live each moment of our lives prepared for how God will break into our everyday.