Sermon Illustrations

STAY BUSY UNTIL THE MASTER’S RETURN

"The disciple is not called to eliminate his ignorance of the timing of the end, he is called to cope with it and respond to it appropriately."

"How can a doorkeeper fulfill his duties if he spends his time calculating how long the delay will be?"

In the temple, during the night, the captain of the temple made his rounds, and the guards had to rise at his approach and salute him in a particular manner. Any guard found asleep on duty was beaten, or his garments set on fire.

A gardener for a large estate in northern Italy was conducting a visitor through the castle and the beautiful, well-groomed grounds. As the visitor had lunch with the gardener and his wife, he commended them for the beautiful way they were keeping the gardens. He asked, "By the way, when was the last time the owner was here?" He said, "It was about ten years ago." The visitor asked, "Then why do you keep the gardens in such an immaculate, lovely manner?" He said, "Because I’m expecting him to return." He persisted, "Is he coming next week?" The gardener replied, "I don’t know when he is coming, but I am expecting him today." Although he didn’t come that day, he was living in the light of the owner’s imminent return. The gardener wasn’t hanging over the gate, watching down the road to see whether his master was coming. He was in the garden, trimming, cutting, mowing, weeding, and planting. He was busy.

(From a sermon by Jason Jones, "Redbuds, Baseball, and Turkeys Gobbling" 1/29/2009)

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