Day 64: Watch! Deuteronomy 3-4; Psalm 36 and Mark 13.
Deuteronomy 3-4; Psalm 36 and Mark 13. We are reading through the NLT.
What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’ ” (Mk 13:37)
Those are Jesus’ final words in Mark 13. Back in college, during the summer, I worked on a boat, in the Bering Sea. One of the responsibilities we had during the week was to keep watch. If you were a bystander up in the wheelhouse it might not look like keeping watch was a very active thing to do. But it was anything but passive. You had to stay alert. It was absolutely critical that you had someone on watch at all times. The person on watch had to make course corrections to ensure that the ship was on course and heading in the right direction. The safety of the vessel and crew was in the hands of the person at watch. To fail at your duty on watch was an offense worthy of being fired. You had the responsibility to keep people safe, avoid rocks and other boats and keep from running aground. Keeping watch was anything but passive time. It was active time. If you were passive you ran the risk of being lulled to sleep.
Well, Peter, James, John, and Andrew all come to Jesus. They want to know about future events. They want to know when the kingdom of God is going to be established. They want to know when all this is going to take place and when the world is going to be made right again? The answer they are given offers them little satisfaction.
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.(Mk 13:32)
Jesus tells them, that, in light of that fact, it’s important to do those things that diligent watch keepers do. Stay alert. Be vigilant. Build routines into your watch hours. Ensure that you remain awake. Because the stakes are too high. The safety and welfare of the lives around you are in jeopardy if you’re not keeping watch.
We must be faithful to keep watch, for the sake of our family, our marriage, the crew, those in our church, and others around us. There’s encouragement to help us stay strong and vigilant in the long watches of night. He’s keeping watch with us. His strength keeps us strong through the night. He is with us every hour and we can learn from him, through the watches of the night. The stakes are high but the company is good.
But each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life. (Ps 42:8)
He gives us a song in the night. As we vigilantly keep watch, as we build routines into our watch hours, He’s with us. And that’s what I want this podcast to be for all of us. May it be a place where we learn to keep watch, to wait for God, to experience His presence while we wait. May we know His songs and sing His songs as we wait for His return.