Thus begins the last line of the first verse of the Advent hymn- Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers. It is a song of waiting and preparation based on the parable of the virgins waiting for the coming of the bridegroom. Some were "foolish" and weren't prepared when the groom finally arrived and they ended up on the outside.
Those words struck me last week during our Advent Lessons and Carols. They are blunt, quick, and basic words. There's no deep theology hidden in them. Sure they aren't words from scripture, but they are words that call our attention to Jesus.
- Up- Don't just sit around. Do something. Move. Get your work done.
- Pray- Keep in contact with God. Don't allow the waiting to pull you away from God's presence.
- Watch- Be alert. Be mindful. There may be (and probably are) many signs of the coming of the Savior. Don't miss them.
- Wrestle- Uh, wait a minute. What is wrestling doing here in this list of Advent tasks?
And what we often discover is the same humility, awe, and power that Mary proclaimed in her magnificent song.
To which we can only add: