And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So, let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armour of light.
This chapter seems cut into three distinct parts: one where Paul advises Christians to respect the governing authorities (so long as they don’t contradict God’s law); one where Paul is encouraging people to love their neighbours; and then this peculiar third section. However, what Paul calls the night is the present age, while the day is the coming kingdom that Christ will return to establish. Paul is encouraging the believers to live in the truth that the day is coming, and very soon. All that is of this world will wash away, and Christ will reign forever.
This truth would radically affect the way that anyone would live! First, how would my attitude towards heavenly things: my possessions, my money, my job, even my earthly relationships change if I had the perspective that tomorrow Christ would come in glory, and all things of this age would be gone? And how would my attitude towards the things of God change if I knew that I would soon see Him face-to-face? This challenges me in what I spend time pursuing, building, and hoping for. To quote Martin Luther: “Live as if Christ died yesterday, rose this morning, and is coming back tomorrow.”
Lord, help us not to get lost in the day-to-day, the earthly humdrum that always seems to beat a background noise to whatever we are doing. Help us to see things, and our time on this earth with Your perspective. Help us, by the power of Your Spirit, to prioritise what You prioritise, and to run the race You have set before us.