A Note from Pastor Rall: Watch

Today is the beginning of a new church year as we enter the season of Advent.  It is a time to be reminded again of our Lord’s coming and what that means for us.  We are preparing to celebrate the birth of our King and His first coming is a significant focus of this Advent season.  But the first voice we hear in Advent is the One who will come soon to judge all things.  At the heart of the message can be summed up in one word – WATCH.

It is because no one knows the day or hour of His coming, that we must always be prepared, be on guard, be awake so that we are not spiritually asleep when He comes.  Watchfulness is not easy to sustain.  Our Lord spoke the words of our Gospel text (Mark 13) almost 2,000 years ago, and it is easy to see how the Church can lose its attentiveness to His coming.

St. Peter refers to this in his 2nd letter, “Scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires.  They will say, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?  For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.’” (2 Peter 3:3-4)  Yes, people will think about the signs such as wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, and famines, but they will conclude that those signs have been there for many years.  It is easy to become complacent and ignore the signs, and spiritual sleepiness is not far off.

So we are called to “watch”.  Although it is specifically the doorkeeper who is charged with watching, the final word of Jesus is addressed to all, “watch”.  Because we are part of a community of believers who are centered around the Word of God, we are called to watch for each other.  That means we are called to encourage each other, build each other up in the faith, and pray for each other.  If we see a brother or sister becoming lax in their worship life, indifferent about God’s Word, of drifting away from their faith we are to be concerned enough to sound the alarm and urge them to awake from slumber and prepare for the Lord’s coming.

One man awaken can awaken another,

   the second man can awaken his neighbor.

Three men awake can rouse the town

   and turn the whole place upside down

And many awake can make such a fuss,

   that it finally awakens the rest of us.                                                     

  …Pastor Rall