Sunday Sermon: Awake, O Sleeper: Walking as Children of Light (Ephesians 5:3-14)

A friend of mine told me of a time he was a counselor at a Christian youth camp. As you know, youth camps tend to have campers who stay up until the wee hours of the morning. When the time arose for them to get up, he would go up and down the hall quoting a verse from the passage of the morning: “Awake, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” When my children were younger, I would do the same thing.

In Revelation, we see Jesus walking through the lampstands, which represent His churches, showing that he is walking among them. I wonder if he, in a way, is walking amongst us saying the same things: “Awake, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Because, as we see in this passage, some were sleepwalking in the darkness.

In the previous paragraph, Paul reminded the Ephesian church to be “imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2). This is the positive way of putting the principle. The next few verses are the negative–what not to do. And as Solomon noted in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes, “There is nothing new under the sun” (1:9).

How’s your walk? Are you sleepwalking through your Christian life? If you are not a follower of Jesus, you will see where you are before God. What will you do with this information? The fact is, we can be asleep when it comes to our Christian walk but wide awake in connecting with the culture’s walk. Yet, the culture’s walk is more like a slippery slope away from the things of God.

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