My guess is that one of the main reasons the angels came to the lowly shepherds was because they were the ones “keeping watch.” (Luke 2:8-15) It was an art they were well-practiced in; such an integral part of their everyday lives.
Keeping watch is so important in the spiritual life. Yet, it is not as easy as it seems. Oftentimes, our expectations of what we will see, or how, where, or when we will see it, get in the way. We are busy looking for one thing, when God is doing another. We are expecting him to make a grand entrance, when he is trying to sneak in the back door. He is often more quiet and hidden and subtle than we give him credit for.
I mean, who in their right mind would expect God to come into his world as a baby? Yet that’s exactly what he did. So if we are trying to “keep watch” over these next days or weeks or months, we might do well to look for God to come in the ways we least expect.
Teach us, O Lord, to keep watch for your coming. For you are likely to come in a way that we least suspect. Amen.