This past July 3, was a bright sunny day. I was slaving in my yard waging a hopeless battle with crabgrass. Everything needed to be groomed so I could enjoy the Fourth of July holiday without guilt. A family of robins was bobbing for worms on the front lawn, a gentle breeze was blowing, and all seemed pleasant and peaceful. I was thinking what a great day it was to be alive.
Then suddenly, right in front of me, a hawk swooped down out of nowhere and plucked an unsuspecting young robin off the lawn. Clutching its prey in its razor sharp talons, it swiftly streaked skyward. This turned my yard from a peaceful scene into one of universal commotion. The prey was squealing, and the hawk was wildly flapping its wings. The other birds, now recognizing the danger, raised a chorus of protest and began in unison attacking and chasing after the hawk. But it was too late. The stronger, more agile hawk prevailed and soon left the others far behind. The unfortunate little squealing bird could still be heard as the hawk with it’s prey, disappeared into the distant sky. Only a fleeting moment had past, yet a robin, that failed to watch, became the hawk’s next meal.
When we are with our church family we feel safe; everything is beautiful and serene. We let our guard down; we drift along, Sunday after Sunday, week after week, enjoying the safety of our church and friends, hanging out with our own little flock. We forget to watch. Suddenly our world is shattered. A thief enters the flock and a life is destroyed, often with no chance of recovery. We respond as best we can, but it is often too late. It is much better that we remain at all times alert and watchful so that there is no chance for the thief to steal, kill and destroy. Christ also likens this to his coming: “…that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up . . . for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matthew 24:42-44). Watch!