Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save this people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “Look, the virgin shall conceive a bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
He could have stayed asleep. He could have dismissed the dream, done what was “right” and stayed living just short of the full life God had for him. But he woke up.
Waking up: allowing what is pecking at your consciousness to have sway, to gain attention. See to the need, alleviate the problem, find rest not just sleep. Romans 13:11-12 “Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light;”
When the church awoke from sleep, she did as the Lord commanded her.
“Advent challenges us to wake from our slumber. We can no longer afford to linger in the various distractions that keep us stumbling in the dark. We cannot continue to blame those who are different from us simply because it’s easy. We cannot continue to ignore the suffering around us because it is too painful to watch. We cannot continue to indulge our selfishness just because it feels good to do so. The message of Advent is that with the coming of Christ the day has dawned. And that means we have to throw the covers off our heads, and get out of bed and walk out into this hurting world, bearing the light that Christ wants to bring into it through us.
I realize that there are a lot of people who try to do that all year long. And I realize that the immensity of the task can be overwhelming. There are just so many people who need our help. I can’t go to the Philippines to help people rebuild their homes. I can’t go to Syria to help the refugee children. I can’t even help all the people in Houston, TX who are living on the edge of tragedy every day. And those thoughts can lead us right back to the cycle of feeling overwhelmed, pulling the covers over our heads, and simply sleepwalking through life.
But the light of Christ that shines at Advent won’t let us do that. It calls us to act “as people who live in the light of day” (Rom. 13:13, TEV). I think at least part of what that means is that we live our lives in such a way as to bring the light to those around us. And if we have a hard time figuring out how to do that, maybe the first step is to decide we’re going to treat the people around us, all the people around us, regardless of creed or color or economic status or educational background, with respect, and kindness, and compassion. That might not seem like much, but in our world that feels like it’s tearing itself apart at the seams from hostility and anger and even hatred, perhaps there’s no better way for us to shine the light of Christ on the lives of the real people we come in contact with every day.” ~Rev. Alan Brehm First Pres Dickinson, TX
Wake yourself up! Do whatever it takes to make yourself uncomfortable. Get hot, get cold, get loud, get quiet.