The Thief in the Night, by Christine Hides
But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” Luke 12:39–40
Reflection: In the first of the three parables in this cluster we, the readers, were the slaves. Today we are the owners of the house being broken into. There are no modern security systems to keep watch for us. Jesus is like the thief in this parable in only one way—his arrival will be, as one scholar put it, both surprising and disruptive. At the time Luke was written, readers expected the Lord’s return to happen soon.
Almost 2,000 years later, we are still waiting. Are we hopeful, expectant, prepared, and alert? Are our spiritual security systems activated or have we fallen into complacency born of waiting? Like the parable just before, Luke offers wisdom for the in-between time between Jesus’ death and the coming fullness of God’s reign.
In this parable and sometimes in our everyday lives, God feels absent, God’s love is distant. But what if God creates and blesses the space between us to be a place where we are preparing and learning, “to live as God’s children…to grow as we could not, were God always holding our hand, and guiding our every step.” (Justo González)
Surprise us and disrupt us, O Lord,
Come into our hearts and homes.