The language of awakening has a great place within the traditions that formed the Uniting Church. It has been used to describe times of significant revival in the spiritual life and mission of the Church. Awakening is also about individual believers becoming fully aware of the truth and power of Jesus Christ and being transformed by it.
But no one wakes themselves. You have to be stirred awake by something or someone other than yourself – e.g., the dawning day, the blessed alarm clock, or a perhaps not altogether friendly mum or dad or spouse! The same is true spiritually. That’s why Paul says, “once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light” (Eph 4:8). Before we could wake up, a great light needed to dawn in order to stir us.
This means that we don’t become fully awake as Christians by trying harder to become fully awake! If we thought we could awaken ourselves, I’m afraid “we’d be dreamin’”! No, we only become fully awake as Christians by coming back, again and again and again – everyday – to gaze upon the light – Jesus Christ (Jn 8:12).
Gazing upon Jesus and His truth – which we have in the whole teaching of the Bible – will warm and stir us to be fully awake, fully alive – on fire! – for Jesus and what He loves. Then we will “live as children of the light” (Eph 5:8).
Grace and cheers, Jonathan.