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Advent: Keep Watch

As I read today’s text, I couldn’t help but picture a group of mischievous children.  Watching them, you can imagine they’re either up to no good, or wanting to surprise someone. Whatever it is, they don’t want to get caught, so they put one child at the door to be the lookout.  The lookout’s only job is to warn them when the adult is coming. In the movies when this happens, I could never understand why they would chose the youngest child for this important job.  It never seemed to fail that the warning would come too late and their plans were foiled. 

 Jesus’ words here seem to clearly instruct that we are to be watching, not leaving the job to someone else: “What I say to you I say to everyone: Watch for his return.” Are you watching for his return this Christmas, or counting days until life returns to “normal”?  Don’t let someone else keep watch for you.  Don’t let the stuff of the season overshadow your ability to be looking, your ability to be ready when he arrives.

 One of my favorite stories from Jesus is the story that we usually refer to as The Prodigal Son (see Luke 15:11-32).  When the son finally decides to return home, the father sees him while he is still a far way off and runs out to welcome him home.  It was not luck or happenstance that morning.  The father had been watching, looking, yearning for his son’s return.  Are your eyes tuned to Jesus’ entry this Holy Season?

 Prayer:  Father, there are so many things that press in and distract me from looking for your coming at this time of year. Help me to have the Prodigal Father’s eyes: searching daily for signs of your presence.  Amen.

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