- It’s what we do when we anticipate goodness.
- It’s what we do when we’re on guard against evil.
- We focus our senses so that we can be prepared for what is coming.
Advent is the season for preparing for the coming of Christ.
- We look forward to his return in glory even as we celebrate his earthly arrival in humility.
- And in many of the Scripture passages we read during the season of Advent, Jesus calls us to keep watch.
- The phrase “to keep watch” comes from the Greek word gregoreo. It means to watch or to be vigilant.
- In Mark 13:32-36, Jesus tells his disciples, “Be on guard! Be alert!” and later, “keep watch” because we don’t know the hour of his return.
- We have the same admonition at the conclusion of the parable of the ten virgins. Be ready “because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:13).
- And just before his death, when he went into the garden to pray, Jesus told his disciples, “Stay here and keep watch” (Mark 14:34).
Two thousand years later, the day and the hour of Jesus’ return are still unknown.
Yet the call for us to keep watch remains.
- What might it look like for you, for us, to keep watch in our lives, work, and leadership?
- How can we train our attention and focus our senses on Christ so that we can anticipate not only his return but also his coming near to us in our daily lives?
During Advent this year we want to learn to keep watch.
- Each week, we’ll engage in both Lectio Divina and Visio Divina, two ancient practices designed to help us pay attention to God and the movement of the Spirit in our midst.
- We’ll also read, reflect, and engage in activities that will help us apply the weekly Advent theme to our life, work, and leadership.
- Through these practices, we will prepare our hearts to receive from Christ messages of hope, peace, joy, and love.
I hope you will join me this Advent season in keeping watch!