The Advent season sounds the alarm with a wake up call to prepare ourselves for the return of Christ. No more hitting the snooze button! The message of Advent insists that the first step in getting ready for our Savior is to wake up and stay awake.
We are actually quite good at staying awake. On average, we sleep fewer hours than people did a century ago. Caffeine, work, entertainment and just plain overall busy-ness keep us awake. But it is not simply a matter of staying awake; rather, as the Apostle Paul reminds us, we are called to be awake to God and God's work of salvation in our midst.
We can stay awake by keeping busy and being distracted, but are we awake to God? Are we spiritually alive? Brené Brown has observed that we are "the most in-debt, obese, addicted and medicated adult cohort in U.S. history." We may be awake, but have we numbed ourselves to being fully alive? Christ comes to rouse us and share with us the abundant life that only God can give.
Romans 13:11-14 (NRSV)
11 Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers;
12 the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light;
13 let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy.
14 Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.