Many of us have heard the First Reading from today. It seems to be one of those passages that resonates.
It screams “get your life in order!” because you never know when you will go to meet the Maker. The reality of not knowing when our time will come is highly frustrating for people like me who like to plan every aspect of life.
The second half of the reading, however, emphasizes that as long as we live our lives as children of the light, we don’t have to worry that the Lord will come like a thief in the night. Those who love and follow Him are not destined for the wrath. We already have the Lord in our life and so there is no night, no darkness.
We are asked instead to stay alert, to draw close to Him, and to live out our lives aware of the salvation in Christ.
This isn’t just an intellectual or emotional exercise. It is instruction to act. We are intended to live this out by building one another up.
To some people, this comes naturally. To others, like myself, it is more of a struggle. I am much better at staying neutral or pointing out problems than I am at being a cheerleader. It is easy to say that I don’t come by positivity naturally, but that doesn’t give me a pass.
As believers in Christ, we are asked to do better, to be better, to live better. If it were easy, Saint Paul wouldn’t have included it in his letter because the people would have already been doing it.
This Scripture also implies that we need to be built up by others as well. With whom do you surround yourself? Do you surround yourself with people who build you up or with those who tear you down? Perhaps we can use these questions as part of this litmus test:
Are we acting as children of the light? Are we building up one another for the kingdom of God?
If not perhaps we need to get things re-ordered and start living like the child of light God intends us to be.
This stunning piece for Mozart's Requiem Mass reminds us to pray for eternal light on those who have gone before us.
Dr. MaryRuth Hackett is the host of the podcast Parenting Smarts. She loves historical fiction, dark chocolate, watching her children play soccer, a good cup of coffee (decaf please) and the quiet of the early morning. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology and has a passion for helping parents understand the way their children grow and develop. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up and the author of our Blessed Conversations: Leader Guide found here. You can find out more about her here.