Begin this new day by praying this prayer out loud. As you are able, consider kneeling as a physical expression of your commitment to Jesus as Lord of your life and the one you desire to lead you this day. Alternatively, you might consider placing a hand over your heart as you pray this prayer.
We come to you with great anticipation and preparation. Open our minds, open our hearts, open ourselves to what you want us to hear and experience today as we read your word.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
As we celebrate Jesus’ birth, Mark reminds us that he will come again. He will come this time when we least expect, just as the first time he came. Jesus reminds us to STAY ALERT, to WATCH, and to BE READY.
I don’t believe Jesus is calling us to be prophets of the apocalypse or dooms-day preppers. Instead of stockpiling food, water, and arms, I believe Jesus is calling us to stockpile acts of kindness, gifts of grace, and words of encouragement. We should be staying alert to the needs of others, watching for opportunities to serve, and looking for Jesus in others. These are the most effective and productive ways to prepare for His second coming as we celebrate His first Advent.
How are you preparing for Christ’s coming this Christmas? Are you alert, watchful, and ready?
When you are finished with your time of reflection, close out this time with this prayer.
Lord, Make advent real in our hearts.
Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now.
Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh.
Lord, we need Your peace and joy. We know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You. You are still our Joy. You are still our Peace. And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always.
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