Advent Meditations: Week 1 – “Stay Woke”

(Light one blue advent candle and read the following scripture verses.)


Mark 13:32-37, from the CEB

32 “But nobody knows when that day or hour will come, not the angels in heaven and not the Son. Only the Father knows. 33 Watch out! Stay alert! You don’t know when the time is coming. 34 It is as if someone took a trip, left the household behind, and put the servants in charge, giving each one a job to do, and told the doorkeeper to stay alert. 35 Therefore, stay alert! You don’t know when the head of the household will come, whether in the evening or at midnight, or when the rooster crows in the early morning or at daybreak. 36 Don’t let him show up when you weren’t expecting and find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to all: Stay alert!”

Commentary by Rev. Barbara Wiechel
Amazon sends customers an email that confirms what they have ordered, when it will be shipped, and when it will be delivered. They even follow up with an email that says, “Your package has been delivered.” God doesn’t work that way. In West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein’s lyrics say, “Something’s coming, something good, if I can wait. Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is, but it is gonna be great!” That is the same message that Jesus announces to his disciples. Whatever is coming is worth waiting for. We don’t want to miss it because we are asleep.

“Stay woke” is a phrase being used that encourages us to be aware – more aware –

of the underlying issues behind news reports, internet posts, and tweets. Not every source is reliable, insists “stay woke,” and not all information is available to us. “Stay woke” reminds us that God is always at work in our lives and in our world, but if we are not alert, we might miss the signs. The first message of Advent is to wake us up from sleep that dulls are awareness of God.

Think about some of the ways we are awakened to new ideas, new skills, new problems or new solutions. Perhaps it is a conversation, instruction, or an idea that comes to us when we are pondering. If we pay close attention, if we “stay woke,” we discover God is very active in our lives. Take some time to write down some things that have occurred to change your life, or share them with another person.

Let us pray.

O God who is always doing a new thing,

     whose creation is a masterpiece of beauty and diversity,

wake us up to the possibilities of life for us.

Open our eyes with a sense of wonder;

     open our ears to hear melodies that soar to heaven;

     open our hearts to feel your love surrounding us;

     open our minds to knowledge that goes beyond facts.

And then, O God,

     help us stay awake to all that you are doing in and for us,

          through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

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