By Campus Missionary Mary Rowley
I think we can all agree that it’s easier to stay awake at night if you’re with other people. When 11 o’clock hits, my eyelids start to droop, which is a demonstration of the fact that I’m no longer a college student. But if I’m with my friends, I can stay awake talking until the wee hours of the morning.
“Be on guard, keep awake,” Jesus says in Mark 13. “For you do not know when the time will come” (verse 33). We are to stay awake; we are to be prepared for Christ’s Second Coming. It will be a completely new kind of presence for us. We have the presence of God now, but when the Last Day arrives, everything will be different. So how do we prepare? I think the key word in that question is “we.”
We are not alone in our preparations. Jesus never said we have to all stay awake individually without interacting with each other. In fact, I think that would be impossible. After all, “you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning” (verse 35). If we help each other out, we can stay awake and prepared. If we’re by ourselves, we’re bound to fall asleep.
Jesus acknowledges that we all have our own work and our own gifts. However, our work and our gifts all have the same end goal – to be prepared for the End Times, to be ready when Christ comes. Therefore, we should help each other in any way we can. That might look different for everyone. Maybe we help each other prepare by studying the Bible together. Maybe we help each other prepare by reminding our family about forgiveness. Maybe we help each other prepare by providing rides to church. Whatever it is, we can give of ourselves in order to help each other stay awake.