Mark 13:33-37

Waiting is something that many of us have forgotten how to do. We want things immediately. We want to pick fruit from the tree before it is ripe. Immediately, they are disappointed when what they saw as delicious fruit is sour to their taste. In bitterness and disgust they throw it away.

Who has not felt the anxieties of waiting for the fulfillment of a hope or a dream?

Not all can wait – certainly not those who are satisfied, content, and feel that they live in the best of all possible worlds! Those who learn to wait are uneasy about their way of life, but yet have seen a vision of greatness in the world of the future and are patiently expecting its fulfillment. The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who know themselves to be look forward to something greater to come. For these, it is enough to wait in humble fear until the Holy One comes to us.

Advent is the time to identify the presence of Christ.

Nostalgia:  Advent, we look back and remember his coming to Bethlehem.
The Certainty: Advent, we look at the present, and we live its presence here.
Hope: Advent, we look to the future and await his coming in glory.

“Watch, keep alert, and pray; for you don’t know when the time is”. Soldiers who have served in combat know the requirement well, especially those who have served on guard duty. In the Roman army, a guard could be executed for falling asleep while on duty. While that sounds harsh, it reflects a harsh reality. Watch means to stay alert, to keep one’s eyes open and one’s attention focused. Soldiers on guard duty know that their faithfulness can be a matter of life and death, both for themselves and for their fellow soldiers. Jesus is emphasizing the danger of failure to be ready for Christ’s coming again.