Time to finish this story about not being afraid. Part one and part two.
So what do we do? If we’ve been given our standing in the kingdom, our place. If we don’t have to worry about making God happy enough to love us, being strong enough to fight our way in, being amazing enough to earn our way in, if we don’t have to worry about all that anymore, what do we do with the time we used to spend in worry and fear?
Do not be afraid. Live in love and anticipation.
Knowing that even though we will die, this life isn’t all there is.
The story Jesus tells is about being ready for the master to come back. That’s often been taught in our generation to mean, “Jesus could return for everyone anytime, so be ready.” I think about that a little differently now. A couple times a week, I am with people whose lives are ending.
That’s a clear reminder that our conversation with God about how we spent our life, our living with awareness of the end, doesn’t depend on Jesus coming. Just as was true for Abraham and Noah, Abel and Isaac, That ending can happen long before the end of the story.
So what are we doing to be ready when God is ready?
Here’s the invitation we have for living our lives in love and anticipation:
Spend our time on what lasts.
Spend our attention on what lasts.
Spend our money on what lasts.
Spend our frustration on what lasts.
Sometimes I talk with people who have spent time sharing their resources while they are alive. Jesus talks about selling what you have and sharing what you have with the poor. That’s living in love and anticipation.
Sometimes I talk with people who have been busy sharing stories, making notes about their lives. That’s part of living in love and anticipation.
My friend Wes kept teaching Bible studies. He had done it for decades. He used to teach college students. Now he was teaching people in assisted living. But he was investing in what matters for the kingdom. Not because it makes God loves him more, but because it was a way to spend what he had on what would last. That’s living in love and anticipation.
Does this mean work all the time? No. Rest matters. It’s why God created sabbath. Living in love and anticipation means resting in belonging to the kingdom rather than worrying about working hard all the time.
When I think about the rooms that most welcome me, they are rooms of people who are not afraid, who are living lives of love and anticipation.
So can we.