Reading: Ephesians 5:8-14
Verse 14: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
Returning to Ephesians 5 today we focus on the words at the end. Here we find another metaphor that goes along with the light/good and dark/evil metaphor. Throughout the scriptures sleep has been associated with death or with having a dead faith. Those living in the world, following the ways of the world – they are asleep.
In the last verse we read these words of encouragement: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” This call to live in the light of Christ begins with a recognition that we are in the dark or are asleep. It moves to the choice to leave behind the grave, to exit the life that leads to death. It ends with a promise – the light of Christ will shine on you. I love that these verbs are in the present tense. It is an invitation to walk as a child of the light here and now.
These words bring to mind a contemporary song by Austin French called “Wake Up Sleeper.” He sings of moving from light to dark, from being “held by the grave” to having “a brand new heart.” In the chorus he sings, “Oh sinner arise, leave your past at the door… Christ is alive, death don’t live here anymore.” There is, of course, a connection here to Christ walking past the door of the tomb and into the resurrected life that we all can enter through Christ. It is a wonderful reminder of how Christ’s light shines on us now and one day eternally. Thanks be to God!
Prayer: Lord God, let your light shine! Let it shine all around the world! Let it shine in my heart! Let it shine out into the darkness of the world! Amen!
Link to song: https://youtu.be/AFiwZow4d2E