“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake.For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
Mark 13:32 – 37
The entirety of Scripture is full of admonitions to stay awake, to pay attention, or in the words of my mother that continuously play over and over in my head, “be aware!” Some Scriptures give signs to look for, but many merely exhort us to keep our eyes open. The Gospel of Matthew relates a parable told by Jesus that has been set by countless composers over the centuries:
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Matthew 25: 1 – 12
I often tend to think of waiting as a passive activity. It’s the relative non-activity that happens before the actual “thing” happens – that is, for whatever it is I am waiting. Yet the Scriptures describe our waiting for the return of Christ as an intensely active activity. This is not waiting in line at the DMV, this is waiting for the guest of honor to arrive at the party where we continually check out the window to see if they are coming towards the door and we throw the doors open as soon as we see them arrive. During Advent, we are not only looking forward to Christmas morning; we are looking forward to the return of our King. Let’s not fall asleep on the couch. Let’s get the house ready and keep watching at the windows.
Oh, and I found us some good tunes to listen to while we wait.
This post was written by Nicki