By Ronald Thomas, Sr.
“And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” Mark 13:37
In this season of Advent, Mark reminds the church to watch, wait, and prepare for Christ’s second coming.
We prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ child, and at the same time, we read the words of our crucified and risen Savior to “Keep awake.” His words assure our hearts of God’s promises to send our Savior. Yes! Jesus will come again!
We wait for Christmas, and we wait for Christ’s return.
There is a difference in how we wait. Waiting for Christmas is passive waiting because we know the date and have a general idea of how the celebration will play out. We make plans for our church services and decorations, home decorations and activities, and community involvement because the date is known. We even remind ourselves to behave accordingly when our commitments to people and activities push us to our toleration limits.
Now, waiting for Christ’s return calls for us to wait differently. We have a promise with no dates or times.
We are to watch for events and watch out for people who claim to know things that are impossible for them to know (Mark 13:32). There will be dramatic cosmic signs where the sun and moon are both darkened (Mark 13:24). Also, there will be people who will claim to know the date of Christ’s return, and some will even claim to be Christ. Therefore, we must keep alert and actively watch and wait.
We must not forget the Christ child and the adult Jesus who nurtured relationship building between humanity and God. We have communion with God through Jesus Christ.
Let us, therefore, be awake and actively wait for God by making known God’s forgiveness of sin, calls for justice and mercy where evil abounds, loving those who society rejects, helping the desperately poor, and feeding those who hunger. Please remember to take time to minister to yourself, your family, and your God.
Watch, Wait, Stay Awake, for our redemption draws nigh.
Ronald Thomas, Sr. is a CBF Leadership Scholar pursuing an M. Div. at Duke Divinity School. He received his M.C.S. from Union University, and currently serves as the Pastor of The Church at North Carolina that is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.