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Summary: The translation we heard states that the servants are waiting for the master a better translation describes servants who are expecting the master.Waiting is passive, much like waiting for a bus or a cab. Expecting denotes excitement, energy, enthusiasm.

For those not familiar with and Anglican Service; There are four Scripture readings directly before the Message: Today's assigned readings are: Isaiah 1:10-20; Psalm 50:1-8,23-24; Hebrews 11:1-3,8-16 and Luke 12:32-40

Bethlehem and Jerusalem are only 7 miles apart.

Bethlehem ... the place of the incarnation ... the birth of God's Son ...is just over the hill from Jerusalem.

Jerusalem ...the place ... of Christ's atonement.

In the apostles Creed we recite: ... born of the Virgin Mary, The Incarnation. ... suffered under Pontius Pilate...The Atonement.

For Paul, the incarnation ... The Birth of Jesus ...flowed naturally .... and with no interruption ... into the glory of atonement.

Beloved ... indeed it does, ... and the light of that glory ... appears in many places.

One such place is in the parable of the Serving Master ... which we heard from Luke's Gospel.

Yet ... the length of the parable ... does not determine its power.

This deceptively simple parable .... is filled with rich theological content. (Pause)

Now ...The parable as a whole ... focuses on the servant disciples .... and on ...... the servant Master.

The model for true servant-hood ... is demonstrated by the master, ... and the model makes it absolutely clear ... that serving ... brings forth freedom.

One of the prayers in the Church of England Anglican liturgy states, "to serve you ... is perfect freedom."

The parable begins BIBLE ... "Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit." END (Luke 12:35 NRSV

A more accurate translation for that time is: "Let your loins be girded about, ... and your lights burning." (Luke 12:35 KJV)

These are both calls for ... The follower of Christ ... the servant ... to be prepared.

Two word pictures .... immediately appear.

The servants are told to gird ... (1 Finger) to bind their robes ... (2 Fingers) and ... to keep their lamps burning.

The long robes of the Middle East ... were worn by both men and women ... and they nearly touch the ground.

They were ... and are worn ... without belts.

The hot climate ... makes loose-fitting clothing ... the nearly universal preference ... of the people.

Any strenuous activity ... or work ... requires the wearer to tie a belt... or a rope ...around their waist .... to keep the bottom edge of the robe ... off the ground ... and out of the way.

The Hebrews were instructed in Exodus ... to tie up their robes on the eve of Passover ... in order to be ... ready to travel. (Exodus 12:11).

Elijah belted himself ... in preparation for running before Ahab's chariot. (1 Kings 18:46).

And the prophet Jeremiah was told to gird himself... as he took up his ministry ... to the nations. (Jeremiah 1:17).

In the Middle East then and today ... A person who wears a long robe, ... without a belt, ... is not equipped to travel ... or prepared ... to work.

A similar phrase in contemporary English might be ... to ... "have one's boots on." ... "Having one's Boots on the ground."

This parable ... is speaking of servants ... servants who are fully prepared to carry out any order given by the master ... regardless of how demanding ... it might be.

The servant disciple ... is also told to have the lamps lit ... and to keep them lit ... regardless of how long the night.

The parable continues: we are to be alert ... to be a servant who is waiting for ... their master. (Luke 12:36)

So when are we to expect him?

We can expect him .... When he withdrawals from the wedding banquet ... and returns ... and knocks.

There are Two keywords ... that profoundly influence ... how the parable is understood.

The translation we heard states that the servants are waiting for the master ... a better translation describes servants ... who are expecting ... the master.

Waiting is passive, ... much like waiting for a bus or for a cab.

But expecting ... projects a different mood.

Expecting denotes excitement, ... energy ... enthusiasm.

Much like the expectation... of the birth of a child or grandchild.

Also ... When the master quote ... "returns", ... the reader or listener ... might assume that the wedding banquet is over.

And when it is over ... naturally ... all the guests ... including the master ... would return to their residences.

Most likely ... instead of leaving after the banquet ends ... the master ... "withdrawals" ... from the banquet ... while it still in progress.

He withdrawals to his private quarters ... which is most likely .... in a wing of this spacious mansion... where the wedding Banquet is taking place.

Remember our Lords words... BIBLE "In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you." END (John 14:2)

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