Pastor Ralph J. Mineo, St. Luke's Lutheran Church
I clearly remember a day in high school Biology Class when I fell asleep! I was sitting in the front row directly in front of the teacher. He was reading from an excellent Isaac Asimov book. But the teacher had a soft-spoken, monotonic voice. In tiredness, I covered eyes with my left hand and literally fell asleep!
Now there were only three students in this class. When the teacher came to a point where he wanted to ask a question, he called each student by name. I was last. When the teacher came to me, he said, "Mineo!" With that, I woke up!
I did my best to not appear as if I'd fallen asleep. I simply responded, "Yes?" To my surprise, the teacher said, "Good, Mineo! Good!"
It's still amazing to me that the proper answer to the question was: "Yes!" My two classmates had answered "No."
I was lucky that time. I never fell asleep in a classroom again!
Think about the sleepiness of the apostles of old. They were tired on the Mountain of Transfiguration. They were very sleepy in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the Garden, Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to stay awake and pray. Still, they fell asleep. MANY who believe in God are spiritually asleep. I know. It's happened to me, even as a pastor!
The Good News is that the Resurrection wakes disciples up! To be sure, the Holy Spirit wakened the apostles to the meaning of the Resurrection with great power on the Day of Pentecost! Peter (one of the Transfiguration and Gethsemane sleepers) later taught that believers should "stay awake at all times" (see the First Letter of Peter in the New Testament).
The season of Lent is a good time to renew our commitment to STAY spiritually AWAKE in Christ our Lord! Lent ought to be more than a time to manage our food choices! Lent is a good time to renew our commitments! Attend worship. Pray daily. Serve those with needs. Give generously to the work of God in the world. Refrain from gossip and slander. Share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others. Forgive. Love one another as Christ loved us. Pray for those who have done you harm. Daily recommit your heart and soul to the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Hear God calling you by name (first, middle, last name!)
Let the Spirit of God awaken you.
A good answer to God's call: "YES!"