Recently I was asked to participate in a sleep study - my snoring - irritating to my wife - she concerned that my health was being affected. So I did the study - twice - uncomfortable - no fun. Try to sleep in a strange place - sticky leads - on the face - hair - shoulders - legs - with a harness - laying on the back - not ideal for good sleep. It is what it is - for better - or worse - a study - a test. The second time - with a face mask - even more uncomfortable. Sleep is important for everyone - young and old - to function well during waking hours - for learning - developing memory - focusing on tasks - learning new things - listening well to others. As a preacher - not uncommon to notice people in the pew - drowsing - looking away - bored. When it is my turn to deliver the homily - sermon - speech - every effort made to keep it - interesting - short - meaningful. Eye contact - with as many people as possible - gauging their level of interest - keeping them engaged - to inspire - to encourage - to spread the Gospel.
When Jesus preached - people did not drowse - sleep - lose interest. He was able to engage completely because His message was fresh - carried value - brought the truth. As we grow in spirituality we often tune out - having heard the same message - time and again. Journeying to the end of the Advent season - our duty - to open our ears - to listen with new interest - to dive deeper into the words spoken - to hear again - maybe for the first time - the message of God's love - forgiveness - redemption. To listen to the announcement of the impending birth of the baby - some 2000 years old - that Jesus be born - freshly into our hearts - to grasp - again or the first time - what Emmanuel really means - God is with us.
Mr. Bean Sleeping