'Watch' is the Advent Word for today in the global Advent Calendar I am following this year.

I love the way that groups of meerkats always have at least one meerkat on watch, alert to the surroundings. This is particularly for the safety and so the well-being of the group as a whole.

Jesus told his disciples to watch, stay alert, keep awake. In other words to have eyes, minds and hearts open and ready to see his coming, whenever and wherever that might be.

Jesus said: 
"Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. therefore, keep awake - for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, at at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all. Keep awake."
Mark 13: 33 - 36 NRSV

In Advent, Christians think about 3 ways in which God in Christ comes: past, present and future.

In Advent we prepare for Christmas which celebrates a past event, the coming of the baby of Bethlehem, the Saviour of the world. Christmas is also a celebration of the Incarnation, the belief that God is not remote and far away but is God-with-us, present and active now in the world.

In Advent we also think about whether or not we are ready for Christ's future coming in glory to judge the nations at the end of time. 

The word 'Advent' is a translation of an ancient Greek word 'parousia'. Parousia means coming, arrival, visit, or presence, especially for a royal person or official. It can be used for the presence of a person or god in the present, not just in past memory or future anticipation.

What about Christ coming today? How is he coming in the present? In my life? In the people I meet or hear about? Am I in a state of watchfulness? Are my eyes sufficiently open to see Christ in unexpected places or people today? Am I alert to Christ's presence now?