“As he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, ‘Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?’ And Jesus began to say to them, ‘See that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, “I am he!” and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. But be on your guard…
“‘Concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 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. What I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.’” Mark 13:3-9a,32-37
“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes…
“Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.” Luke 12:35-37,42-43
Jesus warned His children to watch and wait for His return. He admonished them to stay alert to discern deception and false reports, to recognize the signs of His coming, not just to sit propped up awake, slouched on cushions. They were servants left in charge, with duties to perform and people to serve. He had set them over specific tasks and individuals in need, to measure out spiritual and material food at the proper time. They were to be vigilant, active, aware, expectant. They were to have their lamps burning and hearts afire, attuned to His knock, ready to open the door and welcome Him at any moment into their present.
Have we ignored the snooze alarm to ‘awake,’ and grown dull in our awareness of God’s working in the nations? Have we become provincial and narrow in interest, care, and compassion, unwilling to get dirty with the hardship around us and abroad in the world? Are we lazy in service and ministry, saying it’s someone else’s turn? Have we let the Spirit’s fire fizzle by inattention and waning fervor? (Romans 12:11)
Would we ask the Lord to stoke our heart’s fire anew? Over whom and what has He given us charge, and how diligent are we about His assigned responsibilities? How will we get to work to be prepared to greet Him? (1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:10)
Lord, keep me ever alert to Your voice and ways, serving You with my whole heart until You come.