Alive, Awake, Alert, Enthusiastic

“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be aware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.”
— Mark 13:32-33

When I worked at summer camp, there was a song we sang in the mornings as the campers gathered for breakfast. Sung to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, the lyrics repeated: “I’m alive, awake, alert, enthusiastic.” There were also a complex series of hand motions. At seven in the morning, it was quite the wake-up call, especially for the campers who were not used to the camp routine.

Today’s reading is also a call for us to wake up and stay alert for Jesus’ return. We are shaken from our normal routines to be stewards of God’s love, for as we heard last Sunday, Jesus is already among us as the “least of these.”

You likely go about your life at least awake to the need to care for the sick, the hungry, and the poor. Now we must go beyond being awake to being alert. We will not be told when the time is that someone needs our love and care, so we must be attentive to our neighbors. We must form community and relationships, so that we can be there when the time of need comes.

As the song says, I think we can even go a step beyond alert to enthusiastic. We can embrace with joy our duty to care for our friends and neighbors. As we begin the season of Advent, we can enthusiastically share Christ’s love as we once again await the coming of the Prince of Peace.
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