Remember this Gift – Gift of Time or Service
by Pastor Aaron DeBenedetto

Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning. —Luke 12:35

About five years ago I was misdiagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). That diagnosis changed my life. Immediately I was put on medication that made my daily living very difficult because of side-effects. I was tired all the time. I got severe migraines. I had these awful hypothermia-like shivering attacks at night. It was hell for about three years until I got a second opinion from Johns Hopkins. Thankfully, I do not have MS and I could get off those terrible medications.

During that period of time the household chores became overwhelming. We had “Mount Laundry,” a huge pile of about 12-loads, waiting to be folded. I managed to wash it, but folding it was often not possible. My wife, Meredith, was busy holding everything else together as best she could, including our two young children. The laundry was last priority.

One day I received an offer from a sweet lady at my congregation. She offered to come over and fold our laundry whenever we needed it. At first I didn’t know if I should accept. But I felt a nudge and said, “Yes, thank you!” For about a year, Donna came and folded. She did it quietly. She did it humbly. She did not want anything in return. She saw a need, offered, and showed up. We received God’s love.

Jesus’ words about servants awaiting their master harkens back to the age of servants. They didn’t have a choice; they had to serve. But, how did they posture themselves for service? They had a choice. Jesus says that the servants who are ready, are blessed. Jesus’ words put more value in being a servant than being served.

Jesus is coming soon. That is the expectation. What posture will he find us in? Will he find us serving God and others?

The final twist in this parable is when the master arrives. Did you catch what the master does when the servants are ready to unlock the door upon his return? The master doesn’t expect to be served anymore; he turns around and serves the servants. When we serve others, everyone gets to stand in awe of Jesus, our Messiah. He makes himself our servant, and because we are thankful we choose to serve.

Recall a time you received a gift of time. How did it show God’s love?