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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.

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DEVOTIONAL:
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
like?

"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
watching?

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!"

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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.'

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