Jesus tells a parable of a servant who is “good and faithful”, he stewards the gifts of his Master well – producing multiplied value from the initial gifts.
At the end the servant is commended!
“Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your Master’s happiness” (Matthew 25:21).
There is much to like about this story. But what struck me this morning, is the invitation to share in the Master’s happiness.
- God’s happiness is not an intangible, aloof, disconnected emotion. Sometimes we assume that ‘holy people’ or even ‘intelligent’, ‘stoic’ and ‘upper class’ people have a humour and delight for things that would go over our heads. But in this verse Jesus reminds us that the happiness of God is something we can ‘share in’.
- God is so happy when we steward His gifts well.
- The task of stewarding is separate from the task of sharing God’s happiness. I think this is important. We can work and work and work, strive and strive and strive, to be good stewards. And totally, completely and utterly miss out on the happiness God wants us to share in. Yes, stewarding well opens the door to the happiness. But no, stewarding well does not automatically result in joy.
We see this last point played all over the western world’s addiction with work. Men and women across the country, working to steward their jobs well, working to steward their privilege well. But not accepting the invitation to share in the happiness of God.
I think of Martha who worked and worked, to steward her house and hospitality, but didn’t enjoy Jesus. I think of the elder brother, who ‘slaved in the fields all day’, but never enjoyed the feasts of the Father. I think of the church in Galatia who were so focused on striving, that Paul had to remind them that the fruit of the spirit is Joy.
And then I think of Jesus….who, it says, ‘for the joy set before Him, endured the cross…scorned it’s shame…and sat down with the Father’ (Hebrews 12:2).
Yes it is important that we ‘strenuously contend with all the energy that Christ so powerfully works with in us’ (Col 1:29), that we ‘continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling’ (Phil 2:12), that we ‘make the most of every opportunity’ (Eph 5:16)….but yes, it is also important we sing the words of Psalm 84:
How lovely is Your dwelling place, oh Lord God Almighty. My soul thirsts and even feints for You… Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you!
Today, come and share in the Master’s happiness