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Title: "Awakening Hearts: John the Baptist's Message Versus Modern 'Wokeness.'"

Welcome, everyone. Today, we explore the term "woke," contrasting its contemporary usage with the profound spiritual awakening preached by John the Baptist.


Contemporary Understanding of 'Woke': In our current times, being "woke" often refers to a heightened awareness of social injustices, a commitment to understanding societal issues, and advocating for equality and fairness. It's about being conscious of the realities faced by marginalized communities and striving for societal change.


Scripture: Matthew 3:2: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven, has come near."


John the Baptist's Definition of 'Woke': In contrast, John the Baptist's call for awakening was deeply Spiritual. His message wasn't merely about social awareness and a transformative inner change. "Repent," in his context, meant a profound turning of one's life towards God, preparing oneself for the arrival and teachings of Jesus.


The Intersection of Both Meanings: Recognizing the value of being socially aware and active is essential. Indeed, Jesus's teachings encourage us to love our neighbors and stand against injustice. However, John's message invites us to consider a more profound transformation that begins within and radiates outward, aligning our actions with the teachings of Christ.


Scripture: John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'"

Here, John identifies Jesus as the Lamb of God, emphasizing the recognition of Jesus as our Savior and the importance of following His example in every aspect of our lives.


Application for Adults: As adults, embracing a John the Baptist-style "wokeness" means integrating our social consciousness with our Spiritual growth. It's about practicing kindness, forgiveness, and love in alignment with Jesus's teachings, not just in our personal lives but in our broader societal engagements.


Closing: Our goal, then, is to be awake in both senses: Socially aware and active, but also Spiritually awakened, following the path laid out by Jesus. This dual form of "wokeness" holds the potential to transform ourselves and the world around us.


Let us embrace this challenge wholeheartedly.


Amen.

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