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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Falling awake

Are you alert to the Spirit's work within you this Advent?

As she was driving west of Spokane, Wash., on Interstate 90, the woman looked over and saw that her little granddaughter's head was tilting to one side and her eyelids were fluttering. "Are you falling asleep, Geneva?" she asked.

"No, Grandma, I'm not," the child answered, as she pulled herself up in the seat. "I'm falling awake."

As the woman told me this story, she mused, "You know, that's how I feel about my faith journey sometimes — I'm falling awake!"


This encounter prompts me to examine my faith journey: Is it routine, humdrum, boring? Am I falling asleep? Or is it invigorating as I let the Spirit work in my life — calling, enlightening, sanctifying and preserving me in faith so that I'm continually surprised at how the Spirit helps me fall awake?

A theme of the Advent season is: "Wake up! Be alert and watchful for the marvelous things God is doing." We read in Romans 13:11-12: "Besides this, you know what hour it is, how it is full time now for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed; the night is far gone, the day is at hand." And we join in the traditional hymn:

"Wake, awake, for night is flying, the watchmen on the heights are crying. ... Prepare yourselves to meet the Lord, whose light has stirred the waiting guard."

We are blessed on this day as we walk with eyes wide open to the wonder of God's love in Jesus.



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