Wake Up, You Sleepy Head!
“Wake up, O sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”
Ephesians 5:14 (NIV UK)
If you don’t get up out of bed and go outside, then the sun will not shine on you.
Do you know the old song, “When the red, red robin comes bob, bob, bobbing along”? It’s about a bright new day, and, instead of getting up to enjoy it, someone is still lounging in bed. Therefore the song continues, “Get up, get up, you sleepy head; get out, get out, get out of bed. Live, love, laugh and be happy”.
Paul’s message to the Ephesians is similar but in a spiritual way. He has already told them to “live a life of love” (5:1) and to “live as children of light” (5:8). What they have to do is luxuriate in the light of Christ and not to stay in the darkness.
When Paul writes, “Wake up, O Sleeper” as in the leading scripture, he appears to be quoting poetry. Maybe it is the line of a then well-known hymn, something with which his readers would have been familiar. Was it a song about the resurrection? Is Paul drawing a comparison for the Ephesians? Is he telling them to live the life of the resurrection now? Don’t laze around in spiritual darkness as if you are still in the grave. The light of Christ is shining, get up and let his light shine on you!
To live as a Christian is to engage in the light. Let Jesus expose our problems; let the wind of his Spirit blow away the cobwebs of our mind; as Jesus shines his light on us, we too become lights that shine on everything else around us. Through Jesus we illuminate the world, and the darkness of the world turns into light.
But, if we don’t get up, if we don’t rise from our spiritual death, we in effect join the world again. It is as if we are with those who live in the darkness of disobedience: “Therefore do not be partners with them” (5:7).
It’s time to get up! Wake up, wake up, you sleepy head!
Thank you, Father, that through Jesus we live in the light of his resurrection. Help us to wake up each day to his light and truth. In Jesus’name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This weekend James is speaking at our Camberwell, London and Coulsdon Churches. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.