35 “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, he will dress himself for service and have them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Luke 12: 35-40 (ESV)
“Keep yourself dressed for action, keep your lamps burning.” God gives us the kingdom, and no one can take it from us. But he does give us the responsibility of keeping it alive in our own lives. There is no, once saved always saved. With faith comes a responsibility. This isn’t a matter of, “now sanctify yourself,” that kind of talk will snuff out faith faster than anything. But keep it and guard it like a treasure, grow in it, don’t neglect it. It is a valuable gift, and it comes with everything we need. This is really about attending to the means of grace, the word and the sacraments, prayer. Acts 2:42 gives an example, attending to the apostolic teaching, the fellowship, the breaking of bread and prayer. This is where the Christian life finds its sustenance. Keep watch, the master comes home, and serves the servants who have stayed awake. It is the opposite of what one would expect. But we keep watch by reading his word, and partaking of the sacraments, by coming together to encourage one another, and pray together. These are the things of a Christian life and in all of them, it is not us serving God, so much as it is God serving us, here he feeds us with his gifts, sustains us for the work we are given, and forgives our sins.