Prepare to listen. Light the 1st purple candle, praying, ‘Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue.’
Prayerfully Read Romans 13:11-14
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armour of light; let us live honourably as in the day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarrelling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.
‘You know what times it is.’ Paul is very confident of our knowing! His claim seems the opposite of what Jesus taught, warning his disciples (think Christians): ‘Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming’ (Mt 24:42). Was Paul contradicting Jesus? No, rather Paul reminds us we should know judgement is near because salvation is nearer to us. This doesn’t mean we know when Jesus will return, but rather living with greater awareness of God’s work in the world. As we prepare for a celebration of Christ’s entry into the world, know the time; know that ‘salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers.’
This isn’t the time for procrastination, putting off repentance for another day; putting off the hard work of discerning God’s work in the world. This is the time for repentance, making those about-face decisions in order to walk in the Way of Jesus. ‘Put on the Lord Jesus Christ,’ Paul urges, with no explanation of meaning or suggestions for practice. Whatever it means, and however we practice it, we’ll experience Christ who lives in and through us.
Reflect on what time it is and what the Spirit is calling you to.
Respond to Jesus
God of Time, I pray for your people around the world that we may all put on Christ and show the world what time it really is, the time of Christ’s coming. For the praise of your glory, Amen.
Go live obediently in the world, knowing what time it is.