Keep watch, we hear all through Advent. Stay awake. Keep alert.
But yet we know we need to sleep too, and that the only perfect watcher is the God who watches over all this beautiful, weary creation (Psalm 121). And of course, the Church hands off this watching across the world, as the great evening hymn says: "We thank you that your church, unsleeping while earth rolls onward into light,through all the world its watch is keeping,nor will it rest by day or night."
But even when we sleep, we are called to watch, to let our dreams be our watching and waiting for the Reign of God among. To join Joseph receiving an angel's visit in a dream, to join the magi watching the stars of night, to be the shepherds jarred from their sleep to what must have seemed a dream of the angels singing for them. When we dream, we dream of God's reign among us.
So this week, draw or write or pray or sculpt a dream that God has, that you have, for our world. Perhaps let Isaiah be your God to God's dream
Or, as monks have done for millennia, get up in the middle of the night at 2 or 3 in the morning to pray, to stay awake, to listen for God in the darkness. If you have to get up to go to the bathroom or tend to a child, don't curse that time, but stretch it out a little bit to pray and welcome God's voice into your heart.
Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace and dream of your kingdom. Amen.