November 18, 2012
His master said to him, "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master." Matthew 25:21
Some years ago, my brother Tom and I were speaking about the wonders of modern technology.
Being an admirer, rather than an inventor like he is, I shared my awe of the developments we had seen in our lifetimes. I remember what he replied. He said, "Ken, you haven't seen anything yet."
The passing of years has shown just how right he was.
I imagine the same thing was being said in 1851 when great crowds attended the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London's Hyde Park. The exhibition, brainchild of Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria, was the place to be.
In those years it was steam rather than electricity which managed to capture the imaginations and conversations of people. On display at the exhibition were steam plows, steam locomotives, steam looms, steam pipe organs, even a cannon which lobbed its shells great distances by harnessing the power of steam.
Still, the first prize at the exhibition was won by a steam invention which boasted 7,000 parts.
When that machine was turned on, its pulleys, whistles, bells and gears made a lot of noise. Significantly, the machine didn't do a blooming thing. That's right; there were 7,000 parts in a machine that had no practical purpose.
I suppose the same is true today. We live in a high-tech time, and it's often easy to confuse activity with accomplishment and power for purpose. Doubt me? How many times have you not, at the end of the day, been totally exhausted ... but still couldn't think of a single thing you had managed to do.
In a machine, in our lives, in our churches mistaking activity for useful action is a monumental mistake.
Far better for us to use our talents to a God-pleasing purpose. Far better to apply ourselves to sharing the Savior's story of salvation with lost souls. Far better for God's people to bolster those who are crumbling, to strengthen those who are weak, to be friends with those who are lonely.
Far better to serve the Savior who gave His life for the purpose of saving us.
Far better to please Him so that when our time on earth is over, we may hear a paraphrase of the Master's words taken from Jesus' parable: "Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little. Enter into the joy of your Master."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I have a Savior whose life was an investment in my forgiveness and future. May I use the time which has been given me for a purpose that pleases and glorifies You. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries