When I woke up on Christmas Eve morning, I had no idea how powerfully the Holy Spirit would move that night at the Ralston Arena. If you were among those worshipping at the 5 p.m. service December 24, you may know how I feel. (And if you worshipped elsewhere – praise God for the wondrous variety of ways to encounter Him!).
The service was a powerful reminder of why we need to be “wide awake.” We were reminded how children are so often wide awake on Christmas Eve in anticipation of what is coming the next morning (even when we aren’t as parents!). We were reminded how Jesus went to his death wide awake – knowing what he was bearing for all of humanity and loving us through it all. And most powerfully, we saw our brothers and sisters in Christ step out in faith to demonstrate how they went from “sleepwalking” through tragedy, pain and suffering to a life transformed and fully wide awake in Jesus’ love.
God was just…..wow. Amazing. Wonderful. Holy. Loving. Compassionate. Merciful. Present. And His Holy Spirit reminded us of all of those things on Christmas Eve, the night of Jesus’ birth. How He fully faced His life wide awake in His calling.
If you weren’t able to be at the 5 p.m. service, I encourage you to watch the video of the service (it should be coming soon!). In its absence, however, we can work on living a life that is wide awake in faith and commitment to Christ. As we move away from December 25 and into a new and hectic year, it’s a good time to recall our commitment to live in faith and think about ways to stay awake in our faith.
- Open your eyes through God’s Word. What better starting place than in God’s holy Word, the Bible. It’s easy to find verses about staying awake or waking up. That’s a simple start to digging deeper in God’s Word. Want a place to start? Try 1 Thessalonians 5:6-11 – http://bible.com/111/1th.5.4-11.niv
- Keep your eyes wide open as you walk through life. Too often I know that I sleepwalk – I don’t look for the opportunities right next to me to witness about my faith and to share God’s love with others. If I am not attuned to what God has called me to do, I am missing the chance to do His work. I must be intentional and wide awake.
- Have courage to walk honestly in a wide awake faith. We saw people walk across the stage on Christmas Eve with a sign that shared their own testimony – their private struggles, pain, suffering and heartbreak. But each sign also was flipped around to show the amazing power of God’s love to transform their lives. Their willingness to be courageous in faith in front of thousands of people was powerful. What are we holding on to today that could help someone else who is struggling? But instead of sharing, we’re ashamed, embarrassed or hiding. Imagine what God could do to work through that situation and shame to change someone else’s life so they are wide awake. It is so challenging but so amazing in its power. It shows how great our God is – when we show His power in the midst of our weakness.
- Awake to worship every day. Worship isn’t reserved for Sunday morning or special services. Worship is a way of life – a way to live wide awake. Music is a powerful way to worship our Lord, no matter whether you prefer sacred hymns or upbeat worship music. If you want to hear one of the more powerful songs from Christmas Eve worship at the Ralston Arena, you can watch this video of the song “Sinking Deep” by Hillsong: http://youtu.be/ffr0pGkXPJg
I pray that today as you clean up the clutter of Christmas presents and visits with friends and family that you take time to stay wide awake, see the amazing work God has done and the amazing work he can still do in and through you.
Your sister awake in Christ,
– Jen Clark