Keep Watch

Day 120

Prayer for the day

Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; let those who love your salvation say for ever, “Great is the LORD!”

Scripture for the day

1 Kings 10-11, Luke 21:20-38

These days, the word “vigilance” has taken on a connotation of violence that it doesn’t deserve. Particularly in North America, being vigilant means being ready to fire your gun at a moment’s notice, ensuring the safety of your family and other loved ones, or your country.

Vigilance, however, does not need to take on violent meaning. Vigilance is simply an alertness, a perseverance in our observation, being ready and willing to take action. Vigilance is an unflagging readiness.

We see much to commend in the vigilance Jesus expects. Jesus expects his disciples and those who follow him to be alert, ready, knowing and discerning what is going on, what time it is, being able to explore and expose cultural signs and shifts. We are supposed to live, like the disciples, lives that are ready for the return of Jesus Christ. We are supposed to live lives of vigilance.

Solomon was supposed to live the same kind of life. God had promised him everything, given him everything, and asked that he pay attention to his commitment, that he love his God with everything, for all time. Solomon, unfortunately, was not vigilant. He fell prey to the allure of beautiful women from foreign countries who led him astray, leading him into idolatry and sin. And he was punished for it.

With all the gifts Solomon had received, his only responsibility was to be vigilant in his care for God, in his love and devotion for God. And yet he could not maintain his watch, could not maintain his care in the face of temptation, and his fall was great.

What a warning to us. Be vigilant. Keep watch.

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