“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth)10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5.8-14
I don’t love waking up early. Even now, the fresh morning air, the quiet and stillness of the day —- I would rather be in bed! Now I can stay up as late as you want! Midnight? I’m just getting going! Perhaps it’s discipline but mornings are not my jam.
When I read Paul’s words “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you,” I realize he’s talking about more than an early morning rise. He’s certainly focused on spiritual awakenings. And a part of this soul revival has to do with rejecting the darkness of sin and running towards the light of Christ’s love.
Paul tells the truth here — we were once in darkness! That was true of my life. Not just living in darkness but living for the dark. But Paul advocates for the opposite —- “Live as children of the light.” Then he explains what light consists of — goodness, righteousness and truth. We don’t need reminding of what makes up the dark, unfortunately that is all too familiar to us sinners. But the light, now that is something different, that is something special. And in living for the light we need to “find out what pleases the Lord.”
Let’s consider this statement for a moment — “find out what pleases the Lord.” Powerful! Mostly, we find out what pleases us. Sleeping in pleases me! Mexican food. Allowing my eyes to wander, my greed to consume me, my spending to fulfill only my needs. But this is not the best path for any of us (and Mexican food in moderation!). We were once in darkness, Paul says, now we are children of the light so live as such!
And the truth is — whatever we do in the dark will be exposed, but everything done in the light, Paul writes, will be made visible. It will please God and be a blessing to ourselves and others.
So wake up sleepers. Live in the light of Christ’s love. Allow the light of Christ to shine on you and be the person God created and intended you to be. By his grace and for his glory.
“O Lord God, you are good. I am your servant. I am saved by your blood and brought into the light. I reject the darkness. I reject sin and selfishness. And I claim and cling to the Savior. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your love and light. I praise you Lord. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen