Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Saturday, December 23

By Matt Mobley

Remaining Vigilant

Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:6

The Christmas of 2008 I found myself in the mountains of Afghanistan serving as an Infantry Platoon Leader. We had already been in the country eleven months and the men were tired and combat-weary. For this mission, we inserted several weeks earlier into inhospitable terrain and experienced some of our heaviest fighting yet. After clearing yet another village, we were given orders to set up a secure outpost where we might get some rest and a few meals under our belts before our next set of clearing operations. 

It was the 23rd of December and we welcomed our little Christmas vacation. We cleaned our gear. We ate. We slept. Much needed resupply arrived via helicopter. It was shaping up to be a wonderful Christmas. And then, in the early morning hours of Christmas Day, we were ambushed. Completely surprised and unprepared, we barely managed to fight off the well-coordinated assault.

As Christians, let us not forget that the life of the spirit is a constant battle of watching and remaining vigilant in our fervor for the Advent of Christ, even when we feel spiritually depleted and tired. As Paul says, “let us not fall asleep, as others do, but let us keep awake” (1 These. 5:6).


Heavenly Father, we pray that we may be filled with the spirit of watchfulness, that we may never be caught off guard in our spiritual lives, and that we would always be ready for you to be born spiritually in our souls.

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