Awake My Soul

But when anything is exposed by the light,
it becomes visible,
for anything that becomes visible is light.
Therefore, "Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you."

Merry Christmas.

"Paul’s ultimate point is that the Christ event brings to historical expression the ultimate purpose of God’s creation of all human life.

God’s faithfulness to Christ ensures his resurrection and triumph over death, and in him over all those evil powers that keep a fallen creation captive to spiritual darkness and the consequences of human sins (1:13-14).”

N.T. Wright

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Gospel of John 1:4-5

Decisions.

Life is made up of decisions.

The course of every man’s life is determined by his decisions. One might say that the difference between the success of two men who are equally talented is determined by the way in which they make decisions. They adequacy of one’s decisions, the intelligence of which they are made, and the ability, once a good decision has been made, to rest upon it and to move forward to the next important step will often decide the measure of success or failure.

Some people go through life vacillating, wavering, unsure of themselves, never able to say a distinct Yes or No.These are people who never accomplish anything worth while for themselves or their fellow men, but who dissipate life and energy in inner conflict and indecision.

The essence of repentance is a decision which determines the quality of present life and future destiny.”

The Gospel of the Kingdom by George Eldon Ladd

Rest.

"There must be some cessation from activity or exertion. This pause in the work cycle is analogous to Israel’s practice of letting a field lie fallow every seventh year to produce whatever happened to grow. The soil rested so over-farming would not deplete its nutrients and destroy its ability to keep producing. Whatever came up in the soil came up. You need some unscheduled time like that every week to let come up—out of the heart and mind—whatever will."

Clip from an article by Timothy Keller, “Wisdom and Sabbath Rest”

Voices.

Many voices ask for our attention.

There is a voice that says, “Prove that you are a good person.” Another voice says, “You’d better be ashamed of yourself.” There also is a voice that says, “Nobody really cares about you,” and one that says, “Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful.”

But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says,

“You are my Beloved, my favor rests on you.”

That’s the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires

solitude,

silence,

and a strong determination to listen.

That’s what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us “my Beloved.”

-by Henri Nouwen, “Bread for the Journey

Suffering.

This stirs my soul. So much.


"Suffering has to be endured in order that it may pass away. Either the world must bear the whole burden and collapse beneath it, or it must fall on Christ to be overcome in him. He therefore suffers vicariously for the world.

His is the only suffering that has redemptive efficacy.

But the Church knows that

the world is still seeking for someone to bear its sufferings,

and so, as it follows Christ, suffering becomes the Church’s lot too and bearing it, it is borne up by Christ. As it follows him beneath the cross, the Church stands before God as the representative of the world.”

The Cost of Discipleshipby Dietrich Bonhoeffer