Do This Because You Know The Time, Romans 13:11-14

God, in his Holy Spirit, is calling us to ‘wake up’ to the reality of his love and grace.

We humans experience time in three ways, past, present, and future. Some people seem to get caught up focusing on the past, either with a sense of guilt for past mistakes, past injuries, or concern over some unresolved issue. Others focus on the past as a kind of imaginary Shangri La, a more pristine time, and see only the good, the fondly remembered things, but none of the past’s willful personal, or communal/social weaknesses and failures. Time past is real, but it is gone. Its greatest value is as a source of reflection to give thanks, on the one hand, and as a resource for recognizing lessons learned, or still waiting to be learned.

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Some people focus too much on the future and get stuck worrying about what may come. The problem with getting stuck in worry and concern about the future is that it is not here yet. It has not taken on the solidity of reality. In spiritual terms, as Christians, we are to have our eyes and hopes on ultimately being in the presence of God in paradise, but it is the thoughts, words, and deeds of the present that connect us to that future.

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Paul tells us in Romans 13: 11-14, “Do this because 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. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day…Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.” The key word here is “now.” It is in this present moment, this day, this hour, that we are to ‘wake up’ and realize that our salvation is nearer, and the day is at hand.

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It is here and now, in the course of this day that we are to put our faith into action, to speak the word of God not just with our mouths, but even more importantly, with the way that we live our lives today. For it is true that our salvation is at hand right now. It is now that we must look at our past and “throw off the works of darkness”, the habits of sin that we have been caught up in, that have caused us to injure ourselves, our relationships with others, and with God. It is now, in this moment, that we are to begin to really and truly practice the commands of God and to willingly strive to be the living example of Jesus Christ. Everything depends on what we believe and do NOW, today. It is now that our love for God and for our neighbor takes on the reality of our salvation.

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If we wake up and put on the ‘armor of light’ that God gives us this day and every day; if we conduct ourselves today in the manner that we have been taught in the faith; if we put on the Lord Jesus Christ in the here and now, we will become more really the true disciples that Jesus calls us to be. God, in his Holy Spirit, is calling us to ‘wake up’ to the reality of his love, his grace, and his challenge to live the Christ-life Now, today. Let us pray for the graces we need to wake up and live out our salvation this day.

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