“Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back–whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: “Watch!” (Reference: Mark 13:33-37 )
I feel sorry for the servant at the door. While the rest of the servants are inside completing their daily tasks, and resting so that they may work again tomorrow, the servant at the door keeps watching, ready and waiting for when the master shall return. The servants inside eat at leisure and have time to talk with one another while the one at the door must keep his/her eyes alert and aware of everything that is going on outside the door. For him/her life begins and ends at the door. It is no wonder we Christians grow weary and lax; being ever vigilant is tiring. We long to take part in what is just behind us, outside our sight and hearing. And we stuck at the door, not being allowed to venture out into the world and see what is beyond the door post. We are kept on limbo, not part of anything, but waiting.
Why, you may ask, is it only the servant at the door who must be ever alert? The answer is simple – the servant at the door is to announce when the master returns. It is his/her task to let the other servants know when the master has returned, welcoming the owner of the household. Are we all, perhaps, to be “servants at the door” waiting for the Master? It is the task of all of us who work and dwell in our Master’s “household” to watch and wait for the Lord’s return? Sometimes, beloved, it feels like it is. At least that is the role I often see for myself. Being ever watchful and aware.
Historic Anabaptist Peter Glock wrote, “For how could we answer for ourselves if we were not prepared for the supper of the Lamb? . . . . Therefore let us watch, so that we do not perish with them [the wicked and unprepared]. For each will receive recompense from the Lord as he has acted, evil or good.” And he sums up my feelings exactly. How could I and would I answer if I were not always in readiness? Even at my age I am still discovering what that means for me.
May you beloved know your task in your Lord’s household, and if you are called to be a servant at the door, may your fulfill your task with diligence and perseverance. Selah!