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  • RevDrGeraldWatford

Keep Watch

I spent a good bit of my time in the Marine Corps, watching. When you stand guard duty at Camp David and the President is just yards away, and there is only you standing in the dark of night in a given area, it makes you think. Keeping watch … keeping watch is an intriguing posture. Nothing happens but something could happen. There is no visible threat but there is a real threat. No one is thinking about you but everyone is depending on you. The boredom can mislead you into thinking that what you do is not really all that important. The posture of watching requires alertness when complacency is so tempting. It requires energy when passivity is enough to get by. It requires creativity when the mundane seems to rule. I have found that the posture of watching that I experienced in the Marines is much like my life as a Christian. In Mark 13:36 Jesus says, in speaking about His return, “If He comes suddenly, do not let Him find you sleeping.” That whole chapter is about the posture of watching … “Watch out!” (v5); “Be on your guard” (v23); “Be on guard. Be alert!” (v33); “Keep watch” (v35); “Watch!” (v37). When Jesus repeats something this many times it is because it is very important. The posture of watching, being on guard is critical. But unlike what we were watching for at Camp David, our watching now is not primarily looking for an adversary or an attacker. Our watching is looking for God, God at work. So many are so eager to watch and detect every instance of falsehoods or set-ups or subterfuge. It is true this kind of stuff is out there. But more importantly God is at work. The more we are able to catch glimpses of God at work now, the better prepared we will be for God at work in the future when Christ returns. Jesus spoke so long ago to protect those of us who believe in Him from embarrassment, from distraction and from complacency. The posture of keeping watch is one of learning to see and celebrate the work of God in our midst. This is how we raise the bar on our discipleship.

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