Zion hears the watchmen singing, and in her heart new joy is springing. She wakes she rises from her gloom; for her Lord comes down all glorious, the strong in grace, in truth victorious. Her star is ris'n her light is come. Oh, come, you Blessed One, Lord Jesus, God's own Son. Sing hosanna! We go until the halls we view where you have bid us dine with you. (Phillip Nicolai, tr. Catherine Winkworth)
Having just spent a rather wakeful night with a sick boy, I'm not feeling very appreciative of the wakefulness metaphor today. But Nicolai's image of the watchmen singing is a lovely one. If you're waiting for the sounds of alarm, imagine being awakened by the sound of singing. If you're up (hypothetically) listening to labored breathing, waiting and watching for signs that things are getting worse, imagine how lovely to hear instead the sounds of rejoicing.
In a culture that mostly warns us to be wakeful because of fear -- fear of falling behind, fear of intruders, fear of someone betraying our trust -- what a lovely reversal to imagine that we are awakened by the coming of God, bidding us come to dinner!