"Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."
I broke my elbow at the end of April, 2020, and it’s been a long road of recovery involving two surgeries and a lot of physical therapy. I still can’t fully stretch out my arm, or rotate my forearm back and forth, so I’m doing a number of exercises designed to help me stretch and bend my arm, and work on strength and flexibility.
At first it was easy to see what improvements I had made. But I’m now at the point of recovery where any gains I make are hard to notice because they are small improvements rather than the bigger improvements that happened earlier in my recovery. I observe them through sudden shifts in what I can do,. I’m grateful to my therapists; because of their abilities, they can see what I can’t. They see what is going on with the structures and tissues of my arm and take me through activities that will help with scar tissue and stiffness. They ask me about pain levels and any changes I’ve seen, and work with me to make sure that the day of recovery will happen.
We’re told in this passage to keep watch because we don’t know when Jesus will return. Keeping watch means to observe what is happening, and to respond in a way that foreshadows the truth of God’s kingdom. We make room in our lives for God to speak to us and to empower us so that we can be His hands and feet. We do this with others – this is a multigenerational, multiethnic, multigendered work - because we each have limits on what any one of us can see and know, and we need everyone’s input and encouragement so that we can fully reflect the fullness of God and what He wants for us as humans. We celebrate together the ways God’s love and goodness breaks into our lives and the world around us.
Let’s ask God to help us be alert to where He’s at work, and partner with Him to see His kingdom come.
Art: Julia Hendrickson | Coming Into Focus | Timelapse on Watercolor and Salt on Paper | 21 seconds | 2020