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Pray and watch

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Mark 13:33-37
Jesus says,

"Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.

"Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back - whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!'"

When I was younger I noticed my 75+ year old mentor Al Schmidt talking more and more about the end of things on earth. The end for him, of course, and that end did come for Al ... but also he was talking about the return of Jesus. He became more expectant, more watchful, more vigilant in his spirit even as his body slowly fell away.

Growing accustomed to faster and faster response times in so many areas of my life reduces my vigilance and increases an inappropriate conviction that I deserve a smooth, trouble-free life. So I find myself grateful for shorter days that limit my activity, for darkness through which I cannot see, for an outdoors cold enough to drive me indoors after just a little while. Daily reminders that God is in control, and I am not.

When is Jesus coming? We celebrate again in four short weeks. In these darkening days of preparation for this eternally significant birthday, it seems easier to be watchful and alert. I expect his return at any moment. With Rich Mullins I can sing, "His return is very close, and we'd better be believin' that our God is an awesome God."

Lord Jesus, you fill up every moment of my life, when I open up to you. Open me, and fill me, and come!

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