“Keep awake,” warns Jesus – “for you do not know when the master of the house will come...” This is a faith for the wee hours, for those bleak watches of the night. Except for those whose employment is nocturnal, those who wait and watch sleeplessly at such hours generally have deep worries. A loved one is dying, an intractable problem blocks sleep, some dark fear looms large enough to call forth a bleary-eyed vigilance. The sudden return of a long-absent and powerful master would incite fear in most servants’ minds: but for these true believers who are keeping vigil, the heavy footfall on the doorstep is a sign of hope.
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