Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Keep Awake!

Mark 13: 28- 37 (NRSV)
28 "From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30 Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 32 "But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35 Therefore, keep awake-for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36 or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake."
Keep awake!
Most of us, I am sure, have had the experience of the untimely nap. Who has not dozed off during a soporific lecture or sermon; studied the insides of their eyelids instead of the assigned text; or sunk into a dopey slumber in the middle of a meeting? In those instances we are jerked awake and embarrassed by our inattention.
There is another way of dozing off. It is the sleepwalking through life that popular culture allows. It is that practice of Christianity that merely goes through the motions: we trundle our bodies off to church on Sundays, we say our daily prayers, we may even tithe or volunteer. But we do not hold our days and our decisions up to the scrutiny of our faith. If Jesus stood beside us he might not recognize our thought, words, and deeds as patterned on his.
The Holy Spirit is within us from moment to moment from day to day. We do not have to travel far to know what obedience to the Christ entails. The journey of faith does not demand mindless adherence. The journey of faith demands that we keep awake!

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