Awaken to Christ's Love and Mercy
“Awake, O sleeper,
and arise from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
~ Ephesians 5:14
Saint Paul’s image of awakening from sleep and moving from darkness to light is appropriate at this moment in Lent. Throughout Lent, we have been praying, fasting, and giving in order to root out our sinful tendencies and turn our hearts and lives back to God. We are beginning to look forward to the awakening and lightening of Easter renewal.
Sleep and darkness are metaphors for sin. When we are in our sins, it is as if we are asleep, pulled into the inner nightmares of our false selves. We blindly grope our way through the darkness within us. Illness is another metaphor for sin. Like a physical illness, sin is soul sickness. As when we are physically sick, our soul sickness makes us feel like we wallowing in darkness and just want to sleep.
When we recognize, acknowledge, and confess our sins, Jesus awakens our souls from the sleep of sin. He reaches his hand out to us and pulls us up out of the darkness and into his glorious light. Just like getting well after an illness, we feel refreshed and renewed – resurrected – in Christ’s love and mercy.
As we draw near to Easter, let us continue to prepare for the awakening of new life in Christ Jesus, who loves us, redeems us, and calls us to himself.