Today’s reading is quite interesting as you can look at this parable from two perspectives. As we read Luke 17:7-10, we can use the lens of the servant and then we can use the lens of God.
7 “Will any one of you who has a servant[a] plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and recline at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and dress properly,[b] and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants;[c] we have only done what was our duty.’”
From the lens of the servant, he works all day, he works HARD all day and then his master or boss doesn’t thank him but expects more. The servant may be wrapping up the last task of the day or so he thinks. Think again! There is more work to be done! Doesn’t this sound like our days sometimes? We work and work, driving kids, fielding phone calls, cooking, cleaning, picking up groceries and then “can you do (X) for me”? In your mind, you were almost done with all your tasks and ready to relax. Think again, you child needs one more thing! Sigh….
From the eyes of God, we are his servants. We are on earth to be disciples, to do good works, to share the word, to serve him and to serve others. He expects us to carry on and not to stop. He does not pause in caring for us at the end of the day because he is “too tired” so why should we stop? He is there watching over us and expects us to serve humbly. We are not always given gratitude for doing his good works on earth today. Our gratitude will come with eternal life.
This last part is sometimes hard in our daily tasks. We try to please people by doing our jobs or we try to go above and beyond to finish a task to perfection. I know at the end of the last two weeks, I was exhausted, working very hard on a number of projects and had to keep going with not much gratitude. Sometimes we are thanked and sometimes we are not and that is the way it goes. I think back to when my children were very young. They could not even say thank you. In those moments, my gratitude came from seeing them thrive or seeing them sleep comfortably. I didn’t expect a thank you at that age. I served humbly. As my kids have grown, I have come to expect a thank you and hope I have taught them to be thankful, expressing gratitude to those who do things for them or “serve” them in even the smallest way. As my oldest entered the business workplace for the summer, I talked to him about carrying on, even if he’s tired at the end of the day, to be thankful he has a job and to thank others even if they don’t thank him. Serve humbly and be thankful to God for all he has given us, even if we don’t see his gratitude right now. Carry on. When your day becomes tiresome and when you think you have done enough, think again! How can we do more to serve God? Are we thankful for all he has done for us? Go forward and serve humbly.
For additional reading: Psalm 114