Rev. Estelle Margarones
Early last Thursday morning, there was some excitement at the parsonage. I distinctly remember hearing the church bells “bong bong bong” at three AM. 'Uh-oh', I thought, 'this isn't good'. You see, I'd worked all day, had a committee meeting, and had come back to my home office to work on the sermon. I'd been up late. And now I was tossing and turning. I heard “bong bong bong bong”. Four AM and I was still up. I got up and had a half a can of seltzer, emptying the remainder of it in the sink and leaving the can there. I went back to bed and tried some deep breathing exercises to get back to sleep....to no avail. Five bells sounded. And then, blessedly, I began to feel myself drift off. It was moments later that the security system went off.
At first I thought that someone had broken in to the house. I leapt out of bed and looked at the alarm box. The code wasn't actually for a burglar, but for “CO detected-upstairs hall”. I then ran from room to room trying to remember where I'd stored the sherpa bag for the cat. Once he was safely stuffed inside (no time for coaxing), I opened some windows. Next, I answered the ringing phone and assured the alarm company that I was alive.
Now I have to confess that I was pretty sure that I wasn't getting poisoned by carbon monoxide because I believe that it makes you fall asleep and I'd been up for hours. Plus, my ten pound cat had been up and whining at the alarm. Surely he could have been a canary in a coalmine if there had been real danger. The reason that I'm sharing this story with you is because the experience brought to mind a piece of scripture.
Let me back up and offer a confession here. I'm usually a neat housekeeper, but last Thursday morning my house was a mess. There were papers, a snack plate, and glass on the desk; a belt on the floor; dishes in the kitchen sink; and that seltzer can in the bathroom sink. Not only that, but I was wearing mismatched pajamas under my robe! Of course this wouldn't have been a big deal except that I had the honor of entertaining Chief Chris and firefighters Peter and Dave at 5:07 AM.
It would have taken me fewer than 10 minutes to clean up the house before work. But I didn't have the luxury of that extra time.
From the Gospel of Matthew 24:42-47
42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. 45 “Who then is the faithful and wise servant,[a] whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time? 46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
What if you don't have til tomorrow to clean things up? If Jesus comes tonight, will He find your spiritual house in order?
Together, we can bring Christ's word and work to the world.