5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
6 ¶ Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.
7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.
8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 (NKJV)
When you live out in the country like we do, you have to get up early in the morning. My day starts at 4:30 AM. I get up and put on a pot of coffee and then take a shower. Seth gets up at 5 AM and takes his shower because he has to be at work at 6 AM. Susan gets up and 5:15, and she and I drink coffee together and watch the news and try to get awake to start the day. We both drive to work 32 miles away, and we get there before 7:30.
Out in the country, even little children have to get up early in the morning. When my boys were in grade school, they got up at 6 AM so they could make it to school. A lot of country kids get on the school bus before 7 in the morning. It’s amazing they’re awake enough to learn their lessons.
This morning as the sun was coming up, I went into an old-timey grocery store to buy my breakfast. It made me happy to see all the good people there. There were teachers, nurses, truck drivers, factory workers, people who work construction, and every other sort of job. They were getting take-out plates of grits and eggs, crisp bacon, sausage biscuits and drinking big cups of black coffee. It makes perfect sense. You’ve got to be alert and well-nourished to do all the good (hard) work that has to be done in this world.
When my sons were teenagers, they both had jobs where they worked early in the morning. Seth got up at 3:30 AM and made biscuits at Hardee’s. (I think he made 650 homemade biscuits every day.) Spencer worked at a grocery store and left for work at the crack of dawn. Back then, Spencer said something that has always stuck with me. He said, “Dad, when you go out early in the morning, everybody is doing something good. You don’t see crackheads, murderers, and bad guys. All those people are at home in bed. At 6 A.M, nobody is up to any violence or crime or mischief. Everybody who gets up early wants to do some kind of productive work in the world. You’re surrounded by a good class of people.”
I told this to a friend in my congregation who works in law enforcement. He said, “Spencer’s right, Brother John. Good people come out in the morning light. But it’s entirely the opposite at night. People do all sorts of evil things in the darkness. And you would be surprised at the kind of people who are doing it.”
Today’s Scripture lesson (at the top) has a lot to say about this very subject. St. Paul says there’s a big difference between the “people of the day” and the “people of the night.” We’re called by God to be the former. So live for Jesus this week, and let His light shine through you. We can all live as “children of the light”—even if we like to sleep late sometimes. 🙂
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 30 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where Bo Clark cooked 300 slider-hamburgers when our missionaries, the Tranthams, came for a visit this week.) Their kids include Spencer (age 24), his wife Madeline (age 24), and Seth (age 21). You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.