In the middle of the night the alarm went off. I thought it was the alarm clock and while I thought it was a bit loud, I just kept on sleeping. Only this morning did I learn it was the hotel fire alarm and fire trucks with their sirens blazing arrived at the hotel. But I slept on, thinking "that was one loud alarm clock," my roommate had brought.
Isn't that often what it's like when the alarm is sounded and we sleep on? Alarms disturb our sleep, our comfort - they are meant to wake us up. When I remarked to my roommate this morning that if there had been a fire I would have been on the list of casualties, my roommate said rather casually, "oh I would have dragged you out." She would have not let me perish but would have saved me. Now that's a great friend, a loyal friend.
Last night as I was falling asleep I was thinking about something I read that one of the delegates on the floor here at the VA Diocesan Council sent me. He said that the bishop spoke a lot about "loyalty" yesterday. I guess there are loyal Episcopalians and disloyal Episcopalians. But what is loyalty? Is it sleeping through the alarms until one becomes a casualty? Or is real loyalty sounding the alarms and even rescuing those who sleep?
We have been rescued by one who was not loyal to "the times" but to His Father. It cost Him everything, but we gained everything. Our loyalty is not to an institution, but to Jesus. When we are loyal to Jesus, then we are truly loyal to His Church, His people, so that when the alarm is sounded, even in the night, we wake up.