Blog / Book of the Month / He never sleeps / Psalm 121; John 3; Romans 4 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / March 5th, 2023/ Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Season of Lent

He never sleeps / Psalm 121; John 3; Romans 4 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / March 5th, 2023/ Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Season of Lent

He never sleeps / Psalm 121; John 3; Romans 4 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / March 5th, 2023/ Mount Olive Lutheran Church, Season of Lent

Text: Psalm 121; John 3:1-17; Romans 4:1-8
Theme: He never sleeps

Intr – Psalm 121 is on the lectionary for this Sunday, and that is where we learn that God never sleeps, nor slumbers. As this Psalm talks about a never sleeping God as a positive thing, it might sound that sleeping would be its opposite – that is, perhaps not a very good thing to do, right?

However, we know that sleeping is good and necessary for our body and life. “We tend to think of sleep as a time when the mind and body shut down. But this is not the case; sleep is an active period in which a lot of important processing, restoration, and strengthening occurs. Exactly how this happens and why our bodies are programmed for such a long period of slumber is still somewhat of a mystery. But scientists do understand some of sleep's critical functions, and the reasons we need it for optimal health and wellbeing.”[1] Doctors say that an adult should have from 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night as a good healthy standard.[2]  Women even need more sleep than man, about 20 extra minutes, according to Dr. Jim Horne, Britain's leading expert in sleep science. He pointed out that “women tend to multi-task and use more of their actual brain than men leading to a greater need for sleep. Essentially, the more you use your brain during the day, the more it needs to rest while asleep.”[3]

If sleeping is so good and important, why wouldn’t God sleep then? Or why is it said to be a good thing? Is He setting sort of a standard for us that way?

One of the main reasons God never sleeps is because Faith is 24/7 as well; it can never shut off even when we are sleeping. Just like your brain doesn’t really shut down, but keeps working on different needs of your body, your faith can never fall asleep, ever. Well, there are dangers, distractions, temptations, and problems around us that try to sedate our soul to ne induced in the coma of sin and indifference to God’s law, sort of a “sleepy faith”. And a sleepy faith usually becomes a sloppy faith and that is a very, very dangerous thing deal with. However, our faith never “sleeps”. Ever.

John 3
This is why we need the Holy Spirit to blow and wake us up inside, as Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3, so we don’t sleep the sleep of eternal condemnation (Actually people will be very much awake in that place…). The Holy Spirit awakens faith in our heart and He is the one who keeps it there through the means God has designated for that end - Word and Sacraments.

The presence of God 24/7 in our lives is assured by Jesus. He is Emmanuel, God with us. Although Jesus, while with us on Earth, would sleep as any human being, He is the One who promised to be with us until the end of times – something He fulfilled on His Cross. He promised He wouldn’t slumber for even a second, and He is keeping His promise every single day. “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.”[4]

Romans 4
In the Epistle we heard more about Faith, which is the connection with Christ that receives His work of love. It is not works, but faith the means to be reconnected to God. We can’t try to guarantee connection with Him by staying awake 24/7 trying to fulfill God’s will. And even if we could do that, this is not the way God has appointed to our salvation. The Law is not the Way, but the Gospel, through faith.[5]

-The Law – it is perfect and shows God’s perfect Will. However we are not able to fulfill it, and we keep breaking it. The Law must be preached, but with a Goal in mind:

-The Gospel – The good news that in Christ we have forgiveness of our sins, Salvation and life everlasting. This is the way God has designed for salvation: the good news that through faith, because of Christ, we are connected to Him 24/7.

Alright, we know that when it comes to faith, we can’t ever fall asleep even for a second. How could that be, considering the imperfect sinners that we are?

Here is a very important teaching of the Word: The Holy Spirit generates and He keeps faith in our hearts.[6] That is the greatest assurance that we can have. Otherwise, a person in coma, for example, or one with mental impairment, someone put to sleep for a surgery or even a person sleeping through the night would cease to be a Christian. If it depended on our capacity of reflection about God, deciding to be with Him or keeping Him all the time in our minds and hearts, we would be lost. Whether wide awake or profoundly sleeping, God the Holy Spirit works in our Hearts through the Word to make us sleep well, awake well, work well, praise and honor God well; serve well our neighbour. Sleep well. We are 24/7 well in and with Him.

God never sleeps. This can be a harsh word of accusation - LAW - because He always knows what we do. But above all, it is sweet Good News - Gospel. The Lord is always ready to help us. In His Son He stands as one who, minute by minute, second by second, never sleeps, never slumbers, is always alert. In His Word and Sacraments, He wants to prepare us for every good work, to have us fleeing the temptations, especially of desiring a “sleepy God” (who would slumber for some time and be unaware of some things we do…). He is slow to anger and abundant in steadfast love.[7] He sent His only Son to die on the Cross so that whoever is born again from the Water and the Spirit[8] to believe in Him as the Messiah promised to Abraham[9] will nor perish but receive eternal life.

Cc – Yes, as a human being you need to sleep. Your body needs recovery; don’t skip it. But as your body doesn’t’ really shut down completely even when sleeping, but many important functions happen during the night, your God never sleeps at all. He is always there in Christ with you and for you, doing the most important functions your life needs. And in Christ, transformed the nightmare of sin and condemnation not into a dream, but into the most beautiful and eternal reality.


[1] How Much Sleep Do We Really Need? -
[4] Psalm 121.5
[5] Ephesians 2:8-9
[6] Philippians 2:13
[7] Psalm 103:8
[8] John 3
[9] Romans 4; Genesis 12



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