The epistle reading for this Sunday concludes, "Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you."
Read the full pericope (Ephesians 5:8-14) to get a sense of what was on Paul's mind. You were on his mind. I was on his mind. He doesn't want us to live in darkness. Rather, he pleads with us to, "Live as children of light- for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true."
Resist the urge to defend yourself, it's Lent for goodness' sake, and simply ask, "What of my life is good and right and true and what is not?" Be honest.
Now, be honest again, doesn't "good and right and true" seem more faithful, more fulfilling, more joyful than "bad and wrong and untrue?"
If that seems too black-and-white, then you can go case-by-case and find the grey, but that lends itself to not being honest about our situations, which leads to us living in shadows, instead of bright light, fearing what might be discovered. At the least, we get accustomed to a film of grime that keeps the fullness of light from shining through. Paul wants something better, brighter for us.
Fortunately, we have models of brightness around us, including our wonderful Central UMC students and they will lead us in worship this week as we celebrate Youth Sunday. They'll help us hear truth from Ephesians, they'll bless us with meaningful music, and they'll guide us through another spirit-filled experience.
There are too many talented worship leaders to name here, but the courageous and thoughtful preachers for the week are Harrison Breeden at 9:00 in the sanctuary, Sloan Kelly at 9:00 in The Well, and Reed Smith at 11:15 in the sanctuary.
Don't be a sleeper this Sunday. Wake up to the joy of life shared and worship led by our talented teens.