The first Sunday of advent begins with a practical invitation. The writer to the Romans, Apostle Paul, reminds us to wake up. Let’s spend some time reflecting on three questions.
The first question is what are we to wake up from? It could be that we have forgotten God and forgotten our expectations. This could have happened because of unexpected experiences, or even deliberate experiences that might have dulled our relationship with God.
I once met a girl who told me that she did not know who she was because of certain experiences that had left her with a lot of regret. She went on to say that she was also unable to experience God’s love since she was beyond the scope of God’s forgiveness. “Life sucks! I feel empty” she said.
The second question, what are we to wake up to? Apostle Paul here is reminding us that no matter where you are at the moment, God is giving us another opportunity to wake up to his arrival. Every Christmas is a reminder that Christ has come to save everyone. In verse 11, it says, “salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.” God has come near to us, wake up.
The third question, what is my response? Verse 12 reminds that when our loving and forgiving Christ enters us, the darkness in our soul shall be removed but we must be willing to “cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light.” Ephesians 6:16-17 reminds us that this armour of light is “faith” – that we are his, empowered to respond with equal force against every evil attack – and the “Spirit of God’s word” who is Jesus, will be your strength (Isaiah 49:5).
Wake up boldly and face the day – Jesus is nearer than you expect!