Mar 16, 2024



Have you ever known people who walk in their sleep? It’s a strange sight. Our daughter was a sleepwalker as a child. I recall her opening the refrigerator while fast asleep. Once, while deep in slumber, she barged into our bedroom, opened a dresser, and scattered my clothes on the floor. Some people sleepwalk through life. Charles Spurgeon said in a sermon, “Some professing Christians have fallen into a deep slumber…My slumbering brethren, you could be awake.” John writes to the church in Sardis, “You have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up!” (Rev. 3.2-3). Scripture calls us to wake up to God. Bede (672-735) was a monk fully awake to God. He came to live at a monastery on the northeastern coast of England at age 7. The practice of sending boys to monasteries was common in those days, especially among those of noble birth. Monasteries were not dark, dingy places but centers of learning and culture. Bede had a gift for writing. He wrote books of English grammar and timekeeping, poems, hymns, and Biblical commentaries (he completed a commentary on John’s gospel on the day he died). He popularized the use of “BC” and “AD” (Anna Domini–“the Year of our Lord”) as a method of dating based on Christ’s birth. His magnum opus, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, earned him the title “The Father of English History.” In his introduction, he stated his purpose in recording history was so that good people could be emulated and bad people disregarded. His prayer remains a mainstay in church liturgies in our day:

O Christ, our Morning Star,Splendor of Light Eternal,
shining with the glory of the rainbow,
come and waken us
from the greyness of our apathy,
and renew in us your gift of hope.

Bede Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Spurgeon “Wake up! Wake up!”

Rev. Dr. Peter James served 42 years as the senior of Vienna Presbyterian Church in Vienna, VA — 21 years in the 20th century and 21 years in the 21st century. He retired in 2021 and now serves as Pastor-in-Residence at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Even as a pastor, prayer came slowly to Pete. Read Pete’s story.