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March 16th: Be Vigilant

Scripture:  Mark 13:24-37

Be Vigilant:

In Mark 13:24-37, Jesus speaks to his disciples about the end times, urging them to stay awake and be vigilant for his return. This passage is a call to readiness, reminding us of the uncertainty of the future and the importance of being spiritually prepared at all times.


I have a problem.  Or if my wife is reading this… I had a problem.  Maybe you can relate.  Your spouse goes out and leaves you a list of things that need to be done.  You know that you shouldn’t put them off, but it isn’t very often you have the whole house to yourself.  There are so many ways to waste time when you have the house free.  Then you get the phone call.  Thanks be to God that people seem to call before they come home.  Then I frantically do all the things on the list, including a few other things to make it look like I worked hard in the absence of my “hypothetical” situation.  I know I shouldn’t do things that way.  It only took a short amount of time to fulfill my responsibility.  Needless to say, I wasn’t vigilant in my responsibility to those I love.


Jesus urges his listeners to be ready by describing the cosmic signs that will accompany his return: the sun will be darkened, the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky. These celestial events symbolize the dramatic and awe-inspiring nature of Christ's second coming. Yet, amidst this cosmic upheaval, Jesus reassures his followers that they can find hope and comfort in his promise to return and establish his kingdom.  Thank goodness because these cosmic events sound like the opposite of comfort.  But hopefully, we can all understand the hope that we have in Christ, amidst chaos.


Jesus then shares the parable of the fig tree, likening the signs of his coming to the budding leaves of this tree. Just as the appearance of leaves indicates that summer is near, so too will the signs of the end times signal the nearness of Christ's return. Jesus emphasizes the importance of paying attention to these signs and remaining watchful, lest we be caught off guard when he comes again.


The passage concludes with Jesus urging his disciples to stay awake and be prepared, for no one knows the day or the hour of his return. He illustrates this point with the analogy of a master who goes on a journey and leaves his servants in charge, instructing them to keep watch. Those who are found faithful and vigilant upon his return will be blessed, while those who are negligent will face consequences.


As followers of Christ, we are called to live with a sense of urgency and anticipation, eagerly awaiting his return while faithfully carrying out his work in the world, not waiting for the phone call that Jesus is coming home. A fig tree doesn’t sprout in a day; a tulip doesn’t bloom as soon as it breaks ground; there is work to be done to stay vigilant. This requires staying spiritually alert, constantly seeking God's presence, and aligning our lives with his will. We must resist the temptation to become complacent or distracted, knowing that the time of Christ's return is imminent.



1. How am I actively preparing for Christ in my daily life? What changes can I make to live more intentionally in light of this reality?

2. Are there areas of spiritual complacency or apathy that I need to address? How can I cultivate a greater sense of urgency and vigilance in my walk with God?

3. In what ways can I be more attentive to the signs of God's presence and activity in the world around me?



Heavenly Father, thank You for the assurance of Christ's return and the promise of Your kingdom. Help us to live with hearts that are awake and alert, anticipating the day when Jesus will come again. Grant us the strength to remain faithful and vigilant in our walk with You, that we may be found ready when Christ returns. In Jesus' name, Amen.


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