J.C. Ryle, an Anglican bishop from the nineteenth century, once wrote, “To be ever looking for Christ’s [second] appearing is one of the best helps to a close walk with God.” I don’t know if Ryle’s statement was said in association with this passage, but it is certainly influenced by these verses: faithfulness is the result of an expectant longing for the return of Jesus.
We just finished the season of Advent, where the church prepares for the coming of God in the person of Jesus Christ. Yet the church does not live in a season of Advent only one month every year–we are in the second advent, waiting and longing for the second coming of God in the person of Jesus Christ, this time as victorious ruler. Too often the church is guilty of complacency, not having a deep and active longing for the return of Jesus, but Luke’s words here are clear: we will be responsible for the gifts–talents, personality, time, money, etc.–that God has given us. We are not called to be successful in the world’s eyes, only faithful.
God we desire to be faithful in your sight. Forgive us for the times when we are complacent and long for the things of this world more than you. We ask that you would show us how to be faithful with the things that you have given us, so that we may one day here you say, “Well done, my good and faithful servants.”