Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning. Luke 12:35
Sometimes we just want to turn the light out and rest. Has not 2020 felt like that, at times? This has been quite the unconventional year. Never in my lifetime have I seen people walking around all the time with masks over their face. This year has been hard. The COVID-19 pandemic has awakened us to the reality of suffering all over our world. The searing pain of death has become front page news in our hearts and in our headlines. You, me, and many have been so ready for a change. We desire rest from the labors of this year. And yet, Jesus reminds us in this scripture reading of how to turn our orientation to Him. This last day of 2020 beckons us now to discover a renewal of our hope in the Lord.
In the night watches of 2020, and in the dawn of a new day, Jesus wants us to be ready to see and to embrace God’s continuing saving work. It’s as if Jesus knows that we have been tempted to turn out the lights and to rest. If our thoughts about 2020 were formed into a metaphorical lamp, then many of us have long-been prepared to blow it out and to move on. Yet, strangely, Jesus meets us in the midst of this feeling and asks us to keep our lamps burning. Why? Why should we keep our lamps burning?
We should keep our lamps burning because the full work of God in Christ cannot be bound up into a single calendar year.
We should keep our lamps burning because in 2021—just a day away—Jesus is still willing and able to bring restoration and transformation to all of our earthly situations.
We should keep our lamps burning because God does not turn out God’s light on us.
Per this scripture reading, turning out our lamps is likened to turning out our hope in the Lord. For this lamp that Jesus speaks of can be representative of our continuing hope in God. Even in a discomforting year, let us not blow out our hope in the Lord. Even in 2020, as we move into 2021, let us ponder anew what the Almighty can do. For ultimately, the rest we desire is found in Jesus. The hope we proclaim is found in Jesus. The change we yearn for is possible because of the saving work of Christ in this world. From 2020 to 2021, and for all times, JESUS SAVES. So keep your lamps burning, in Jesus’ name. Amen.