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‎”All your words were one word: Wakeup.” Spanish Poet Antonio Machado referencing Jesus–via Leonard Sweet in Nudge

Wake Up–it’s Advent!

Last Sunday’s Gospel set out compass for Advent.  Our master has gone away and left us in charge.  Sadly, we have been neglecting our chores while He is away.  It is time to wake up and get back to work to clean up this world.  It is our responsibility and our calling to partner with God to heal the world.

I love being married and I love my wife and family—but I also love when she takes the kids and goes to visit her parents.  It is great because I get to be a bachelor again.  Are you with me?  I don’t have to make the bed, I don’t have to do the dishes or clean up after myself.  For that weekend I am the king of my domain and I can live in my pigsty in utter bliss.  (Truth be told, I’m bored out of my mind an hour after they are gone and counting the hours until they return home, but you get the idea).  Sunday comes around and I get that phone call.  “Hi, Honey—we are on our way home.  See you in a couple of hours.”  The alarm goes off and I know I’ve got 3 hours to return the house back to the way it is supposed to be.  It is 3 hour of frantic activity doing what I should have been doing all along.

This is Advent.  Preparing for the coming of our King isn’t about getting ready for Christmas.  Advent is about getting back to work.  It is about waking up out of our funk, realizing that we have neglected the work that we were put in charge of doing.  This is the cry of John the Baptizer.  This is the cry of Isaiah.  “…Prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”  Because when we don’t, when we neglect our chores, people die.

Reggie McNeal shared this story with me, and it is too powerful not to pass on to you.

There is a small country church in Germany.  It has railroad tracks running along the back edge of the property.  There are first person accounts of church life during Nazi Germany.  Every Sunday the people would cringe as they heard the whistle blow from far away.  You see, everyone knew that this whistle meant the train was coming—it was a cattle-car train.  But it wasn’t carrying cattle; it was carrying Jews to the death camps.  From inside the church, the people could hear the cries of the Jews as they passed by.  So, whenever that whistle blew, the people of the congregation started to sing hymns.  And they would get louder and louder and louder as the train got closer and closer and closer.  As the train passed by the back of the church, the people inside were singing at the top of their lungs, lest they would have to hear the cries of the people who were being led to the slaughter.

We can’t sit idly by and keep singing.  For the sake of Christ, for the sake of the people who are dying, we need to wake up and get back to work.  We have neglected our chores for too long.  Join your prayer with mine this Advent season.  Lord, give me Your ears to hear and Your eyes to see so that I might wake up and get to work.  Make your Advent devotion the task of blessing someone today—and everyday.  Make a difference, speak out, stand up, and make your song of praise the work of your hands and feet for the sake of this world.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. 30November2011 10:21

    All I can say is amen…and wow… and I want to be one of the awakened ones!

  2. 30November2011 13:06

    ps… who is Reggie McNeal? If I want to share this story, how do I cite him?

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