First Congregational Church Winter Park
Daily Meditation: "Awaken"
Sunday, September 6, 2020
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God.’” - Revelation 3:1-2
I know “Prog Rock” is not everyone’s cup of tea, but YES is my favorite. I’ve seen them, in many different iterations of the band, many times. My favorite YES song, which also happens to be the piece that lead singer Jon Anderson says is their best piece of music, is a 20-minute opus from their “Going For The One” album called “Awaken.” It is a spiritual journey both musically and lyrically and is all about, essentially, waking up to one’s own spiritual connections. “Awaken” is all about becoming aware of how we are connected to something larger than ourselves. If we don’t awaken to these wonders, we become spiritually dead.
Churches are like that, too. Like the church in Sardis, churches can have a name for being “alive” and yet, in reality, they are spiritually dead. I know I’ve had the experience in my lifetime of walking into houses of worship where the Spirit is gone. I feel no welcome, no joy, no desire to do the work of discipleship. They’ve effectively given up on being Church.
Unfortunately, that is a reality for too many of our churches of all traditions in our day and time. Resources, people, energy, innovation, and the courage to change and adapt are in short supply and after a time people grow tired, frustrated, disillusioned and ultimately the church starts to suffer. After a time, if there isn’t an awakening, it dies.
These are incredibly challenging times for churches in a climate when churches are already in decline. The pandemic, in tandem with the calls for systemic change in the realm of Social Justice is demanding much of our houses of worship; many of which are already strained on many levels. Yet now, more than ever is a time for Church to “wake up and strengthen what remains.” The world is hurting, broken, and crying out for Justice and for healing. More than ever, the world needs what the Church has to offer.
Awaken, Church. Your time is now.
God Of Us All, awaken your Spirit in the hearts of your gathered communities of every tradition and practice so we might bring your sacred realm to our hurting world.