“Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.’ (Mark 13: 35 – 37)
From the Mark Reading for today comes this caution from Jesus, “Keep awake.” I have read in some translations where this read, “Keep Alert.” And to that an old friend of mine added “everybody needs a little “Lert.” It has no particular meaning but somewhat funny to say.
Jesus’ caution however has a very important meaning and Jesus points out that this message is for all people. I think it means to be sober about our daily lives. I don’t think it literally means to not sleep. That would not be wise or healthy. I think it has something to do with how we live our daily lives.
Lately I have been pondering that I am the habits I keep and I am the food that I eat. Now the latter part of this is not new. Many health enthusiasts have been saying for a long time that we are what we eat. The implication here is that if we eat junk, we are junk. If we eat healthy foods, we are, or should be, more healthy. So, from a spiritual perspective, if we eat Holy Food (Communion) we are a Holy People!
Now the first part has to do with being the habits I keep. Here is where I try to stay committed to a daily routine of exercise, prayer and study, I really mean every day. Having said that I also, as you can tell from my blogs, I ponder and or study scripture every day. This study is a form of praying. It is a way of staying awake and attentive to the Presence of the Holy that dwells in me and in the world out there. Yes, I sleep. I have to. I need it. But I also need to live a liturgical life.
Just as we have certain ritualistic procedures to perform in the Holy Eucharist so too we should have set ways of conducting our day to day habits. I will use myself as an example. I rise every day at four am. I dress for physical success, that is, my sweats. I then go to the kitchen and start the coffee brewing. While coffee is brewing I go to the garage and workout. Its pushups, pull ups, sit ups, dips, leg lifts, squats, and toe touching bends at the waist. This is my morning liturgy. I thank God every time I complete each set of exercises. So when I finish each I say aloud, “Thank You Jesus.” It is my first prayer of my daily liturgy.
After this I drink water and take a cup of coffee upstairs to re-chew my pondering cud for my onewhoponders blog. All of this is “staying awake” to me. I have a set pattern of how I do things. In this way I live my life in an intentional, liturgical way. There truly is a method to my madness.
I do have free time during the day for family and friends but I am put back on track for guitar and piano practice which I also try to practice every day. Music is another way for me to pray. I also like operating my model trains before bed. These set patterns or liturgies keep me grounded while also keeping me awake to what God in Christ Jesus is doing in me and in our world. And our liturgical rhythms should be an integral part of God’s work in the world. We pray, “Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name.” (BCP p. 372) This is the nexus of where the two liturgies meet; the personal and the communal. Staying awake also means staying awake to what God is doing in you personally. God should happen in you before you happen out there.
Let us ponder anew what the Almighty is doing. John+