Today’s Scripture: Mark 13:34-37
34 “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. 35 You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. 37 I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!”
These verse end chapter 13 in the Gospel of Mark – a chapter that has Jesus teaching his disciples about the Second Coming and the end of days. I encourage you to read the whole chapter but fair warning – it’s not a pleasant read.
As child my family was involved in a typical Southern Baptist church that emphasized the Second Coming a lot. I mean A LOT. I’m not really sure why we spent so much time on it but I do remember it being very scary to my first and second grade mind. There are going to be earthquakes? (vs. 8) I’m going to get arrested and stand trial for being a Christian – but it’s ok because the Holy Spirit will tell me what to say? (vs. 9-10) Everyone will hate me? (vs. 13) Yeah, sign me up for that!
The longer I live, the less worried I am about the particulars of the end times. It will happen the way it happens. In fact verse 32 in this chapter tells us that “no one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen.” So, worrying about it is just not productive.
But worry and watchfulness are two different things. In the passage I’ve highlighted for us today we are called to be on the lookout for the coming of Jesus. I don’t want us to get too caught up in looking for signs of Jesus coming when in fact, he’s already here.
What if the command in verse 37 (“Watch for him!”) means that we should actively look for where Jesus is – like right now. What if being on watch means that we keep an eye out for where Jesus might be today? And not only that, what if, once we see Jesus, we try and join him where he is?
If we were to notice where Jesus is active today and put our attention and action there, then the coming of the Kingdom is that much closer.
Where will you see Jesus today? Watch for him!
God help us to be on watch for where Jesus is working in our world. And help us to have the courage and imagination to join him. Forgive us for those times we have missed his arrival and those times we have ignored his presence. Guide our focus to where it needs to be this day.