1 Thessalonians 5:5-6
For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
“Powell! Keep your head on a swivel! You can’t go to sleep on the football field.” After a late hit knocked me out, the words echoed in my head for weeks. Or maybe I was just concussed. Who knows. Regardless, my coach was right. If you lose focus on the football field, even for a moment, you’re on a fast track to injury.
Good football players are alert, attentive, and expectant. They scan the field, sideline to sideline. They notice every detail. Where is number 1? Why did the running back line up as a receiver?
This is the posture of expectancy. Something is about to happen. We’re convinced of it. So, we wait. Withanticipation, we wait. We scan the field. We examine every movement and action. We can’t lose focus. We must remain awake.
You see, it’s possible to be alive, but not awake. Sadly, this posture is common among Christians. We passively meander through life. We go to work. We show up for school. We attend church. But we’re asleep to God’s movement around us. Seeing God’s work around us requires heightened anticipation.
The arrival of Jesus sends a large message. “Wake up!! Stay alert!!” Advent is a sword piercing the heart of monotony. It shakes us from the slumber of daily tasks. It implores us to watch attentively, to wait expectantly, to fix our eyes on God.
Our to-do lists and calendars do not fuel our daily activities, the imminent return of Jesus does. Our future hope, not our present circumstances, informs our daily decisions. We must stop living with our eyes closed. We must scan the fields of life, not overlooking any conversation or encounter. We must keep our hearts and minds open.
We refuse to be rocked to sleep by the frantic pace of this season. We fight against the stress and anxiety of holiday schedules. We push back against the intoxication of materialism. We remain attentive, alert, awake. “Come, Lord Jesus.” is our mantra. God is with us. The Word has become flesh. The Savior of the world is among us.
Wake up!! Advent is here.
Do you live expectantly? What areas of your life deserve a heightened awareness to God’s movement?
Father, open my eyes. Help me to live with eager anticipation and expectation. Set my hope completely on Jesus. Allow my future redemption to fuel my passion, not my present circumstances. Thank you for the gift of your Son. Thank you for hope. Amen.
Frank is lead writer and editor for the blog at Bayside church. He is also a husband, father and Jesus-follower. Occasionally he plays golf. Often he drinks coffee.