Wake Up


Monday, December 2, 2019

Wake Up!
Romans 13:11-14

Waking from sleep. Sometimes, it is lovely:

  • When your little one climbs onto the bed and kisses you awake: “Get up Mommy, time to play.”
  • When anticipation of a stupendous day nudges you awake, and you lie there relishing the wai.

Sometimes, it is alarming:

  • When someone bangs on your door in the middle of the night yelling “Fire! Evacuate now!”
  • When the alarm goes off, signaling someone trying to break in.

Sometimes, it is a relief:

  • When you wake with a start from a nightmare and realize it is just a dream.

Most often, it is just ordinary:

  • When the Monday morning alarm buzzes, signaling that it is time to put your feet onto the floor and get on about the day’s work. 

Today’s reading reminds us of the most crucial waking up of all (save waking up into Eternal Life): waking up from our self- or culture-induced stupor about who we really are, where we are going, and how to actually get there.
Now is the moment—the best moment, the kairos moment, as close as it ever will be. Paul’s invitation is urgent—after all it’s his last official communication before his death. “Listen up!” he’s saying. Wake up!  Get up!  Get going about the work of living in Christ into the New Creation right here, right now.
Now is the eschatological moment—there is none better—to put our feet onto the floor (or our hand to the plow, if you like), and begin living in the Light of Christ, who is our armor in this struggle., our companion in this work.
In the words of the hymn: 

Awake from your slumber/ Arise from your sleep,
A new day is dawning/ for all those who weep. . . .
Let us build the city of God. . .
 For the Lord, our light and our love
Has turned the night into day.[1]

Yes, that means you. That means me. We have work to do today. Work to do together.

Dr. Elizabeth Liebert, SNJM
Professor of Spiritual Life, Emerita
San Francisco Theological Seminary

[1] “City of God,’” words and music by Dan Schutte, ©Dan Schutte and North American Liturgy Resources