June 3, 2021 – Ephesians 5: 1-20 – Wake Up

Click here to watch my video reflection on our text for today, or keep reading for my written reflections: 

Today’s reading is from Ephesians 5: 1-20

1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3 But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. 4 Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. 5 Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be associated with them. 8 For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— 9 for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10 Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14 for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says,
“Sleeper, awake!
    Rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

15 Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil. 17 So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, 20 giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Near the end of our reading today, we hear these words – sleeper, awake!  We see in this passage a call to wake up. To be aware. To not be passive. Be active in your faith, in your life, in your spiritual work. 

It’s a temptation to be passive in our faith, passive in our life.  Passive in our walk with God and with our walk with each other.  Paul calls us out of the darkness of sin and into the light of faithfulness.  We are to live as children of the light.  Not children of the darkness.  In the light, we walk by God’s command and God’s Spirit. In the darkness, we walk by our desires and by what we want to do. 

But we’ve got to wake up and come into the light. 

Here’s the thing, though, the darkness can often seem more comforting than the light. Think about when you wake up in the morning, that first light hitting your face can seem jarring. It can almost hurt a little bit. It takes a few moments for your eyes to get right with the light. It can take a moment or two for your eyes to really get used to the light.  

So is it with our faith. When we walk in the darkness and live for our desires, that seems right.  But taking up our cross and following Jesus?  That seems harsh and off.  It seems like something that we don’t want to do. 

But when our eyes get right, when we truly see, then we see that while the darkness seemed comfortable, it was not where were truly called to be.  The light, that is where life is found. 

Today, wake up, walk into the light.  Live in God’s life. Find your life there. For in that, you are truly living. 

Tomorrow, we’ll look at Ephesians 5: 21-32.

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