Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Challenge of Keeping Awake

Personally that's a rather ironic titled blog for me this December since I've been having rather a lot of trouble lately getting to sleep and staying asleep. Between the regular demands of the church and family there is the added nagging thought out on the horizon of my calendar of the impending Judicial Action of Kendall Presbytery slated for early January where I will be chairman of the Prosecuting Committee representing the presbytery against one of our minister members. Needless to say it is something that keeps me up at night or jumps into my thoughts when I awake at the small hours of the night.

But as I read the daily lectionary passages for today: from the Psalms through the prophet Zechariah to Revelation and onto the gospel of Matthew they were all about keeping awake for something big coming, for the coming of the Lord. Now for most of us the December crush has probably gotten our Scrooge going pretty good or at least we're having to constantly remind ourselves, even if we're the most devout Christian, what the reason for the season is.

And that's where this "challenge of keeping awake" stuff comes in. I mean, even for the devout, isn't it difficult to keep focused on Jesus? When there are so many expectations placed on us at this time of year how do we keep our focus where it belongs? What, with sales, and wish lists, and bell ringers, and travel plans, and various tasks to complete before midnight on the 24th even if we're engaged in "religious" activities it can be challenging to say the least to keep our focus on Jesus.

Knowing that and feeling it all too often lately is one reason why I've been starting each day with the daily lectionary. Yes, I'm doing so in part to work on an Advent Blog. But I'm also finding that along the way of starting the day with the daily lectionary that my focus, if just for a few minutes is on something other than the pressing demands that may or may not have anything to do with God's will or my relationship with Jesus. The ancient-present words of the Old and New Testaments push me to think about how God is indeed working in my life and at the same time how far I can get from having God in my life.

So, if you have access to a computer I wholeheartedly encourage you all to spend five to ten minutes a day reading the daily lectionary and listening for how God is speaking to you today.

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