Each time ns watch the film Steel Magnolias, i fast-forward from the time Shelby falls down in the kitchen to once they are arriving at the cemetery for she funeral. (If the person next come you no seem to recognize this reference, have mercy ~ above them and invite them to your residence to watch the movie. And bring tissues).

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I can’t bear to clock the part when Shelby collapses, leaving the baby sitting top top the floor beside the bubbling pot top top the stove.

We uncover ourselves at the hospital with M’Lynn at she daughter’s bedside, analysis to her. She stretches her legs and runs her fingers with her hair together Shelby lies there in a coma. Once Drum, Shelby’s father, comes in at one point, M’Lynn won’t also really look in ~ him, together she pleads through her daughter.

“Open her eyes, Shelby. Open–open your eyes!”

Who knew the this scene, with a comatose Julia Roberts and also a pleading Sally Field could encapsulate the heart of the arrival Season for this reason powerfully: open your eyes Shelby. Open your eyes, people. Open–open your eyes!

You know what time it is now, just how it is the moment for us to wake up from sleep.

Keep awake therefore…

Might we argue the the foundational facet of our spiritual exercise is to wake up up, come arouse indigenous sleep, to open up our eyes? I have to tell girlfriend this is the heart of Christian practice for me–the absolute main point of things: Sleepers Wake. Keep awake therefore. Be ready. Be on the look out.

St. Augustine when said that the whole service of this life is to cleanse the eye the the heart whereby God might be seen. The assumption therefore–and i cannot stress just how this foundational aspect reorients ours perception the both the world approximately us and our inner world–is the God is always coming right into view because that us, and also we are called to prepare ourselves, to open up our eyes so the we deserve to behold God as soon as he comes.

For me, “being a Christian”–and is it even appropriate to say “being a Christian”, together though we are already “there,” together though we have actually already accomplished being a monitor of Jesus and also aren’t always starting again or acquisition the following bumbling step?– “yearning come more completely be a Christian” is around waking up to the fact that God has carried into this world through Jesus Christ.

Jesus appears keen on this call for united state to wake up up. The society seems hell-bent (literally) on maintaining us in a peculiar coma that discontent and also greed, that numbness and also self-obsession. We have to pay attention to how the speak to of Christ important does challenge so numerous of the culture’s assumptions around what is precious our time and also energy. Can we an alert where the resistance in united state sits as soon as we feeling pinched through the Gospel? can we find the stress and anxiety in our bodies as soon as we feel a bit uncomfortable by other the Gospel says?

Jesus invested his time wade the dusty roads of Roman-occupied Palestine calling civilization to pay attention. Every day.

In St. John’s Gospel account, he spit in the dirt, make a small mud, and also rubbed the in one man’s eyes to give him sight. In St. Mark’s Gospel account, he spit in a male eyes and also asked him what that saw. As soon as the man’s vision wasn’t fairly clear– “I check out people but they look prefer trees” the said– Jesus touch his eye again, healed him, and also then told the to walk straight house instead of to the village. Jesus knew a deep truth: when you watch what girlfriend haven’t viewed before–once friend really see–you’re walking to have a daunting time fitting right into the village’s old patterns. Best to go home and also prepare yourself for the azer conversations to come as soon as you shot to describe to your family and also friends what you room seeing now that Jesus has obtained ahold of you.

I nothing know about you, yet there were points during our journey last week once I want to grab part folks by the shoulders, shiver them until their this rattled in your heads, and also yell “Wake up!” Can friend not see the bigger photo here? Perhaps they felt the same way about me. Most likely so.

Before we acquire to the story of angelic announcements, development places the speak to of the prophets prior to our faces and also hearts. We have to start through the prophets’ speak to to yes, really prime our souls for the occupational ahead. And also the prophets’ eyes and hearts were absolutely solved on calling the human being to wake up up indigenous a peculiar psycho-socio-religious numbness the greed and self-obsession, indigenous a spiritual coma in i beg your pardon their spiritual practice had come to be complacent and also oh, so comfortably ensconced in politics power. This is always a attention combination.

Isaiah urged the civilization to imagine and also see a day when the too-oft repeated pattern of violence and political arrogance was discarded:

they candlestick beat your swords right into ploughshares,

and their spears right into pruning-hooks;

nation shall not lift increase sword against nation,

neither shall they find out war any kind of more.

Isaiah didn’t have time for the baseless and petty criticism that one’s religious practice was becoming too political. Lives and souls were at stake and also it to be time for folks to wake up and literally check out the light.

O residence of Jacob,

come, let united state walk

in the irradiate of the Lord!

Open your eyes, people. Open up your eyes!

St. Paul takes up this prophetic and visionary mantle and speaks to the really heart the the realm in Rome: You understand what time it is, just how it is now the moment for girlfriend to wake up from sleep. It is time to really look and also see–and step aside native the works of darkness come more completely practice the transforming confidence of Jesus Christ. And also sneak peek: once it involves the Empire, together a practice of faith will cost us dearly.

Open her eyes, people! open your eyes!

We must constantly be ready, Jesus speak us, due to the fact that the transforming fact of the soul will break right into our resides at any type of moment–at every moment. Keep wake up therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. This Living spirit will difficulty every single controlling and grasping manuscript we have: every impulse because that safety and security, affection and esteem, and power and also control.

These impulses, these fads of grasping behavior, room what feed our certain numbness, the strange spiritual coma that advent seeks to rouse united state out of. So make no mistake around it, behind all the nice bows and also decking of halls and lighting the candles, us are called to a profound level of spiritual work!

An development observed faithfully is no for wimps. (Perhaps we can put the on t-shirts following year?) This is certainly a radical time, a season that shakes united state up, breaks into our old patterns of thought and also behavior, and provokes ours hearts to think about more fully just what it way to monitor Jesus.

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To placed it bluntly, prior to we ever sing “Do you see what i see,” we have to actually be ready to see, willing to look in ~ both the world about us and the means Jesus is transforming it–and calling united state to share in that transforming work.

So, perhaps it is not a stretch come imagine God Herself sit by our bedside, coaxing us and encouraging us–shaking united state even?–as us lie there in our own peculiar spiritual coma. She to know the work-related She is calling united state to do–and She to know what it will price us and also the fullness the life the we will share in. She knows what is coming!

So, through a love us cannot even begin to imagine, she leans over our face and tells each among us: open up your eyes, people! Open–open your eyes!