Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Lent’s Message—Wake Up, O Sleeper!

“Awake, O sleeper,
    and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
     -Ephesians 5:14 (ESV)
Such are Paul’s words to Christians—his wake-up call to believers like us—to lay aside things that we so easily slip into: impurity, covetousness, filthy language and foolish talk. Instead, he said, we are called to walk in the light (Ephesians 5:3-14).
Even if we do not walk in overt darkness, it is so easy for us as Christians to be lulled to sleep. The day-in and day-out responsibilities tire us. Sometimes life simply drains the life out of us. Our once vivid, vibrant pursuit of Christ starts to fade. The cares of the world exhaust us, and we go into an emotional dullness and spiritual drowsiness.
Therefore, we need some regular wake-up calls in our lives. Lent is just such a time. Forty plus days are set aside for us to be shaken awake—to become spiritually alive—in a brand new way.
In the early sixth century, Saint Benedict called Christians to abandon a life of lukewarm faith. He invited them to pursue of life of prayer, memorizing Scripture, growth in Christ-like character, and manual labor. The opening words of the Rule of Benedict still challenge us today:
Let us arise, then, at last,
for the Scripture stirs us up, saying,
"Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep" (Romans 13:11).
Let us open our eyes to the deifying light,
let us hear with attentive ears
the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us,
"Today if you hear His voice,
harden not your hearts" (Psalm 95:8).
Every believer can resonate with these words. While many of us will not join a monastery, we can all respond to God’s wake-up call.
In order for us to walk in the light, as Ephesians 5 exhorts, we must wake up. Let us use the coming six weeks of Lent as a wake-up call to revitalize our walk with the Lord!
© 2016 Glenn E. Myers
For Lent the church has always emphasized fasting, prayer and giving alms. See Matthew 6: 2,6,17, “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets . . . when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen . . . when you fast. . . .”

No comments:

Post a Comment