Monday, 18 July 2016

Sermon 17th July: Awake O sleeper!

Ephesians 5:14  This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Do you like to sleep? Or is it a begrudged necessity? Are you too busy? And what of prayer? Are you too busy for that as well?

Sleeping is necessary for us it is a good thing. It is getting apart from the normal. And so is prayer - take time to sleep, but also to be with God

Having to sleep reminds us of our limitations. There is an increased need when a person is young and when old. One value of age is then that there is more time to pray, which we should do when we realise our limitations.

Sleep is also good as it deadens pain. Prayer also helps us to cope with pain, suffering and difficult circumstances. Are we aware of our need?

Good to be regular in our sleep, and not just when bored or tired. Our bodies are made that way. Likewise it is good to have a fixed time to pray. Of course we may also take both quick naps and prayers as needed. Then just as napping is not always a good idea, some times are not appropriate for prayer - it is the time for doing! "A little sleep, a little slumber" (Prov 6:10), leads us to material and spiritual poverty. Especially be well awake in worship - do we need coffee BEFORE the service?

Why are we able to sleep? It is the same reason why we can pray. It is because God is not sleeping! (Ps 121:4, 1 Ki 18:27). That is a reassurance - or do we find it a problem that God always sees what we are doing?

The tragedy of today is those who are spiritually asleep - wake up those around! (1 Thess 5:6). But be slow to judge them, rather seek to increase awareness. Now is the time (Rom 13:11). Wake up your friend! Wake up society!

Maybe people just think that when they do die, they just fall asleep, so there is no problem. But there is a very real judgement.

Incidentally, just as there is no night in heaven, so there is no soul-sleep. People just look as if they are asleep (Matt 27:52, Jn 11:11, 1 Cor 15:18, etc). We will be immediately conscious. I want to see God immediately!

Prof David T Williams
Theology (retired)

No comments:

Post a Comment