Romans 13:11-14 – And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. (NIV 2011)
What does it mean to be truly awake?
Since our children moved from a crib to a bed, we have had a rule that they are not to get up until they see 7:00 on their clocks. They are to stay in their beds and look at a book or play quietly. There have been times when we have heard them lying there singing to themselves until the moment when the clock changes from 6:59 to 7:00, when they come bouncing out of their rooms.
There is no exception to this rule on Christmas morning. However, there have been years when the children have been awake for some time before the clock turns to 7:00. In contrast, I am hardly what you would consider truly awake at the magic 7:00. Usually, I have been up late on Christmas Eve trying to get a head start on preparation of the Christmas dinner, putting the final touches on some gift wrapping, or simply sitting in our living room with all the lights off, except for the Christmas tree, watching the fire and listening to the beautiful music that is such an important part of Christmas Eve for me.
"The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber. …" (vs. 11) In other words, get up and get going! Why? Because we have some choices we need to make about how we are going to live our lives. Are we going to "put aside the deeds of darkness"? Are we going to "put on the armour of light"? In order to make these choices, we need to be truly awake. These are intentional calls to action. Have you ever tried to make a decision when still in the fog of sleep? Generally, that is difficult to do, and certainly, we would not want to be making important, life-changing decisions in that state of mind.
So what does it mean to be truly awake?
I think that it means that we need to be paying attention to the world around us and our position in it. I think that it means that we need to consider all the choices that we make in the context of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. Thankfully, we can "clothe [ourselves] with the Lord Jesus Christ", and so, we do not travel this road alone.
I am glad to say that on Christmas morning, my sleepy state disappears very quickly as I am swept up in the joy and enthusiasm that emanates from our children. So, too, it can be in our walk of faith. We can be truly awake in the joy of God's gift to us in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Gracious and loving God, thank You for the gift of Your Son. In this busy Christmas season, help us to be truly awake to the world around us so that we can make choices that reflect the lives we are called to live as followers of Jesus. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Angels From The Realms Of Glory" (Lyrics)