Slideshow image

 Sleepers, Wake

I may be wrong, but it appears there are more Christmas decorations being put up early this year.

It may be that these decorators are sending, in advance and unknowingly, the theme of Advent.          

The great Advent Hymn, “Sleepers, Wake! A Voice Astounds Us" comes to mind.  Its words may not be familiar to most Anglican congregations, but the melody probably is (“Wauchet Auf”).

The hymn also has a great message to hear and to share. Following are the lyrics:  

"Sleepers, wake!" a voice astounds us,
the shout of rampart guards surrounds us:
"Awake, Jerusalem, arise!"
Midnight’s peace their cry has broken,
their urgent summons clearly spoken:
"The time has come, O maidens wise!
Rise up and give us light; the bridegroom is in sight.
Your lamps prepare and hasten there,
that you the wedding feast may share."

Zion hears the watchmen singing;
her heart with joyful hope is springing,
She wakes and hurries through the night.
Forth he comes, her Bridegroom glorious
in strength of grace, in truth victorious:
her star is risen, her light grows bright.
Now come, most worthy Lord,
God’s son, Incarnate Word,
We follow all and heed your call
to come into the banquet hall.

Lamb of God, the heavens adore you;
let saints and angels sing before you,
as harps and cymbals swell the sound.
Twelve great pearls, the city’s portals:
through them we stream to join the immortals
as we with joy your throne surround.
No eye has known the sight, no ear heard such delight:
Therefore we sing to greet our King;
for ever let our praises ring.

This hymn tells us about our preparation for the coming of the Christ child.
It is a reminder to the world in a literal sense.
It is time to wake up, world. Take note, an important event is about to happen.  

It is time for us to wake up, or dust off, our spiritual life. 
It is time to be ready to greet our King.            

It is a reminder for us to be prepared to receive the Kingdom of God in the Eucharist.

From our hymnal 'Common Praise' we sing #48:  Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand;
ponder nothing earthly minded,
for, with blessing in his hand, Christ our God
to us approacheth, our homage to demand.”

The hymn ends with three great “Alleluias.”            

Years ago, a parishioner suggested to me that we should never give up our 'alleluias' during Lent and Advent.  She would remark, that we need to sing these great words of praise each and every time we receive the Sacrament.  She would suggest that 'Alleluia!' needs to be our response to the greatest gift ever given.            

May we all “WAKE” and sound forth the alarm of the advent of our God and King.  Alleluia!

Blessings in our waking and watching,
Archdeacon Brian+