Prepare to Listen. As you light the 1st purple candle, pray: Restore our fortunes, O Lord.
Prayerfully Read Mark 13:32-37
32‘But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’
“And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake” (v37). It’s simple really, “Keep awake!” It’s also serious, given a second time with a warning, “Beware, keep alert.” We might be excited about the day Jesus comes “with great power and glory” (v26), but he cautions his followers: no one knows, not even Jesus, when that time will come, therefore, keep awake. Not infrequently someone claims to know when he’s coming, using the Bible to support their claim. They’ve all been wrong, and foolish are those who listen to them.
To help us grasp the certainty that no one knows, Jesus told a short story. “It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch.” We’re the slaves in charge, each with our own work to do. We’re also, all of us, the doorkeeper on the lookout. The charge to keep awake, says Jesus, is for all of us.
Beware and stay alert so that you don’t end up believing the false prophets, who always sound like the true one, except they lie with great cleverness. Keep awake so that you notice when Jesus comes each day in the ordinary. Perhaps it’s only when we notice Jesus in the daily ordinary that we’ll be able to keep hope alive and awake for the day he comes in power and glory.
What could help you stay awake and alert to the quiet and sometimes subtle ways Jesus comes into your world today?
Respond to Jesus
Jesus, you keep reminding us to keep awake and I keep dozing off. Forgive me. Help me use these few weeks of Advent to practice staying awake and being alert to your presence and promptings to act or simply to wait. May your face shine on me today that I may be saved, Amen.
Go live obediently in the world by following Jesus’ command to stay awake.
I am convinced that reading the Christian Bible is essential for our Christian spiritual nourishment. I speak from experience, over 60 years of experience. I also believe we'll never get bored reading the Bible over and over. Each time I read it, I learn something new. Read with me during Advent and learn to wait for Christ with heart and mind alert for his coming. The readings draw on my background of study and teaching the Bible for over 30 years.