You know the time; it is the hour now for you to awake from sleep. For our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand.

God is great at wake-up calls. As personally expert at the snooze button, thanks be that He is eternally diligent with those wake-up calls.

The first to hear the wake-up call were the prophets. Jesus told us that “many prophets and righteous people longed to see [his arrival].” The prophets hearing God’s call took action. The proclaimed what was to come. They set forth, as Isaiah does today, a message of hope, peace, and joy. They lived in urgent and active expectation of what was to come.

We often get impatient in expectation of great things and can, at the same time, snooze. Maybe we snooze as an excuse. If I close my eyes, time may pass more quickly. But that isn’t what God wants of us. It is why He issues constant wake-up calls. He wants us awake and active, living His way and truth.

The anticipation and longing of the prophets, who for thousands of years knew by the Spirit that the Messiah would come, teach us how to prepare our hearts in this season of Advent. 

The prophets kept reminding Israel of their call to prepare and to live faithfully in expectation of the Messiah. Unfortunately, they did not listen and kept falling back. That failure to heed did not play out well.

The experiences of the prophets, their active anticipation, reminds us that Advent can be a season of reflection and repentance as we remember why Jesus came to earth. They teach us to faithfully endure as we await Jesus’s Second Coming. As we wait, let’s remember our waiting is necessary preparation in becoming the people He is forming and transforming us to be – living members of the Kingdom. Use the time wisely.

Paul calls us to active living, realizing what has already happened and what is to come. He calls us to throw off all that holds us back, to be awake and ready.

God is diligent at wake-up calls. He gives us this opportunity of Advent in advance so that we may be prepared. He gave us the first coming of His Son which we will commemorate in a few short weeks, and through that moment He gives us His life and word as model so that awake and active we live as He did and expectant for His return.


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Amos answered Amaziah, “I was no prophet, nor have I belonged to a company of prophets; I was a shepherd and a dresser of sycamores. The LORD took me from following the flock, and said to me, Go, prophesy to my people Israel.”

Are we answering machines or messengers as Christians?

As loyal followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we start our week off the right way. We spend time in church to give God the praise and worship He desires and so deserves from us. We hear the word proclaimed and preached. We receive the Lord’s forgiveness through His Church, our community. We are fed, nourished with the Bread of Life and drink from the Cup of Salvation.

If we are answering machines we take in all that is given. We can even repeat much of it back, if someone pushes the play button. We do the same thing over and over and loyally sit through and retain these messages.

Messengers are different. They deliver. They not only deliver, but also are personally changed by the process. Think of a messenger or courier.

  • The delivering of the message places demands on them. There is urgency to their work. The message cannot wait, cannot be late. The message must be securely delivered – true to its source.
  • The messenger’s task is physical. They have to get where they are going. They are strengthened by the process.
  • Messengers may be specialists in delivering certain types of content.
  • The messenger’s delivery of the message is distinctive. The messenger’s experience of the message adds to the delivery, in certain ways becomes part of the message.

Social corruption and the oppression of the poor and helpless and worship of pagan deities were prevalent in Israel and Amos was called to be a messenger. The head priest Amaziah, who should have been the messenger became less than even an answering machine.

Our task is to determine whether we will act mechanically as God’s answering machines – faithful of course – or whether we will be His messengers.

As Jesus sent His apostles, so He sends us. He sends us with power and authority. Let us take up the urgency of the mission and deliver Jesus’ message – in opposition to the changing wants and desires of the world. Let us grow in strength by the delivery of His message. As we are given gifts, let us use our specialized talents to deliver His message. Let us convey God’s message witnessing to the joy, hope, and comfort it has given us.