For far too long, the Church has been standing around like a gaggle of state-paid road workers, watching one or two men wield a shovel. We have been far too docile and lethargic and have spent too much time trying to stay out of everyone’s way. This needs to stop.
As the murky shadow of evil grew like kudzu in the forrests of Mirkwood, Gandalf passionately addressed the white council. His suggestion was to swiftly attack the rising dark Lord Sauron while he could still be easily defeated. Yet, his guidance was rejected because a nefarious little fox named Saruman had worked his way into Middle Earth’s hen house. Had the council banded together under Gandalf’s advice, the entire saga of the Lord of the Rings would have never occurred, at least not with such panache. And while the books and movies are markedly better due to the treachery of Saruman, we can see the simplest of points: doing nothing in the face of rising evil almost always makes things worse.
This brings us to the very heart and center of Biblical eschatology. While Mordor’s shadow darkens daily across the waning empire of America, our goal mustn’t be to hide all knobby kneed in an evangelical version of Helm’s Deep. We must not bury our heads like a herd of ostriches, wet our pants like terrified turtles, or blend in like chameleons until the danger has subsided. As the end draws near, no matter how long that drawing draws on, we are called to take up our weapons of warfare and do four things as we wait on our savior to return.
These four things show up in today’s passage that we will examine below.
Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his Master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his Master finds so doing when he comes. Truly I say to you that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that evil slave says in his heart, “My master is not coming for a long time,” and begins to beat his fellow slaves and eat and drink with drunkards; the Master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour which he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Be Faithful Where You Are
No matter your eschatological position, these words could not be any clearer. Instead of wasting our time trying to identify the next candidate for Antichrist, or which shade of red the next blood moon will be, or living in total ignorance as if eschatology doesn’t matter, we are called to be faithful. Scripture tells us not to look back while we are plowing (Luke 9:62) and not to look up while we are supposed to be working (Acts 1:11). Instead, we are to look forward with hope as we labor faithfully wherever we are at.
And where are we? We are in the household of the King of kings and Lord of lords (Matthew 28:18). He is the one who purchased this down-and-out dilapidated mess called earth with His most precious and holy blood. All of it now belongs to Him! And through His Church, whom He left with the renovation plans, we’ve been tasked with reshaping everything to His vision.