Technology is amazing! I remember my first wristwatch, a Timex. It was advertised to “Take a Licking and Keep on Ticking.” I tried my best to test that claim! Anyway, the wristwatch I now wear is worlds beyond my old Timex. It doesn’t need winding. It changes time with each change of time zones and knows if we are in Daylight Savings Time or Standard Time. My watch can send me messages, work as a compass so I won’t get lost, and can even talk to me if I have a question. To be honest, there are still things I’m learning about my watch.
One of the surprises I had recently was when in the middle of a sermon my watch alerted me to a severe thunderstorm with lightening was approaching. My watch told me to “seek shelter immediately!”
Looking into today’s gospel lesson from Luke 12:49-56, it is clear that we sometimes pay more attention to alerts on wristwatches than we do to the alerts found in this text which have eternal consequences.
Jesus said, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens.”
What Jesus said next goes right to the heart: “You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”
N.T. scholar, Alan Culpepper asks, “What has suffered as a result of our misplaced focus of attention?” Today’s text challenges us to examine how we prioritize the insignificant over the things of greatest value and importance.