As I read prayerfully through the book of Mark, what stands out for me in Chapter thirteen is this phrase: Stay awake! Rather ironic for me, since I suffer from insomnia and staying awake is not what I want to do. However, in this context Jesus is not telling us to refrain from sleeping; He is saying we must be alert, be observant, pay attention.
It’s easy to get caught up in our daily lives and routines. The expedient often becomes the important in our human minds. Things like our jobs, our work at church, taking care of our families, even vacationing and hobbies. It’s not that these things are wrong, but here Jesus is warning us not to lose sight of the bigger picture.
All of this in in the context of the last times. Most Lutherans say we’re in the last times now — they started when Christ ascended. So now is the time to stay awake. Bad things will happen (they are happening) — wars, false teachers, persecution, earthquakes, famines. This means we need to remain strong in our faith. We need to study the Bible and know what it says; we need to be firm and not give in to heresies that may seem to make sense in our culture; we need to prepare to be persecuted by maintaining strong Christian communities.
The end of all time is coming. We clearly don’t know when. All we can do is be prepared. STAY AWAKE!
“But concerning that day or hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come.” Mark 13:32-22
For more lectio divina study on the book of Mark see: