Skip to main content

Advent Devotional #5

Today's devotion from Goshen College:

NOV. 28 - WATCH!

By Jake Shipe, resident director

SCRIPTURE: Mark 13:24-37 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.


Watch! Watch for what, the coming of Christ. These are the
words of Jesus to his disciples about the coming of the end
of ages, but this message wasn’t just for them. As
Christians we’re assured of Christ's return, but when and
what should we be looking for? What did Jesus mean when he
said, "Watch"? Not only are we asked to watch, but we’re
asked to be prepared, so what does this all mean and look

"Therefore keep watch because you do not know ...",
although we may not know the day of Christ's return, we’re
assured of his coming. To prepare us for that day he gave us
signs to warn us of his coming, "The sun will be darkened
and the moon won’t give its light ..." So we understand the
when and what we should be looking for; what about the

The Greek translation for watch means be active, take heed
lest through negligence and habitual laziness some
destructive calamity overtake you. One can keep watch, but
if not prepared, their watching is in vain. In being
prepared we need to live transformed lives. Here is such a
list of attributes of a transformed life: worshiping God
intimately and passionately, engaging in spiritual
friendships with other believers, pursuing faith in the
context of family, embracing intentional forms of spiritual
growth, serving others, investing time and resources in
spiritual pursuits and having faith-based conversations with
outsiders to the faith.

"What I say to you, I say to everyone: "Watch!"


SCRIPTURE: Mark 13:24-37 (NRSV)
'But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be
darkened, and the moon will not give its light,
and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers
in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see "the Son
of Man coming in clouds" with great power and glory. Then he
will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four
winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

'From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch
becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that
summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking
place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I
tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these
things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away,
but my words will not pass away.

'But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the
angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware,
keep alert; 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 slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands
the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake --
for you do not know when the master of the house will come,
in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn,
or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And
what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.'


Popular posts from this blog

Book: By the Waters of Babylon

Worship. It is what the church does as we strive to honor God with our lips and our lives. And then, many churches argue about worship. I have about a half-dozen books on my shelf about worship, but adding Scott Aniol’s By the Waters of Babylon to the shelf has been excellent.

First of all, Aniol’s work is not based on solving a musical debate. While that branch of worship is often the most troublesome in the local church, By the Waters of Babylon takes a broader view. The starting point is the place of the church. That place is a parallel of Psalm 137, where the people of God, Israel, found themselves in a strange land. The people of God, again, find themselves in a strange land.
Second, in summary, the book works logically to the text of Scripture, primarily Psalm 137 but well-filled with other passages. Then it works outward from how the text addresses the problems submitted in the first chapter into how worship, specifically corporate worship, should look in the 21st century Weste…

Put Down That Tablet! Exodus 35

Moses assembles the people of Israel at Sinai one last time before they set out into the wilderness, headed for the Promised Land. He gives them a reminder of some portions of the commands of God and emphasizes the construction of the Tabernacle (Exodus 35 link).He also gives the one Biblical mention of tablet-type mobile devices in Exodus 35:3, where the command is given not to use your Kindle Fire on the Sabbath Day. Some of you just groaned. Some of you skipped the one-liner, and others just missed it. I’ll address you all in turn, but first let us address the person who thought this might be the hidden meaning of that command. After all, we are so easily distracted from our worship and commitment by all of the digital noise around us, why would we not take this text in this manner?The quite simple answer is: because it is not about digital devices. In total, the command to focus the day on Yahweh, Covenant God of Israel and all of Creation, and if your device subtracts from your f…

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…