Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings:
Deuteronomy 25-27; Mark 14:27-53
37 He came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay alert for one hour? 38 Stay alert and pray so that you won’t give in to temptation. The spirit is eager, but the flesh is weak.”
39 Again, he left them and prayed, repeating the same words. 40 And, again, when he came back, he found them sleeping, for they couldn’t keep their eyes open, and they didn’t know how to respond to him. 41 He came a third time and said to them, “Will you sleep and rest all night? That’s enough! The time has come for the Human One[b] to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up! Let’s go! Look, here comes my betrayer.” (Mark 14:37-42, Common English Bible)
It is Sunday afternoon, I am sitting in my recliner at the parsonage. Worship is over, I have just had a nice lunch, and I have some kind of game or race or perhaps even a movie on television. Before I know it, I am drifting off to sleep. I catch myself and start to fight off that nap. But, my eyelids get heavier and heavier and before I know it, two hours have passed, the game I wanted to watch so bad is over. It seems like I just finished lunch ten minutes ago but now it is almost dinner time. And the really bad part, I still feel so tired.
Have you been there? Most of us have. I have gone to bed wanting to read a book and before I knew it I woke up with my Kindle off and I knew I had better put it away and get some real sleep. I have gone to sleep while in prayer and the next thing I know, the alarm clock is going off and its time to get up and I never did finish my prayer. Then I just feel guilty.
When I was doing youth work, I would ask kids how they were doing. The response I got more often than not, “I am so tired!” I still hear that as often as not when I ask the question.
I think the disciples in today’s lesson could identify with that. Jesus has asked them to stay awake and pray with him. The disciples may not have been laying in their beds but they were still exhausted after a day of preparation for the Passover meal and then eating the meal itself. I feel certain that because Jesus had asked them to stay awake and pray they wanted to do so. Still, there reaches a point the body just can’t go on.
Jesus knew that as well as anyone. I find it interesting that earlier in this Gospel, Jesus is asleep in a boat during a pretty vicious storm and the disciples had to wake him up. Now he is scolding them for not staying awake while they pray.
Jesus did have a point. The disciples time remaining with him was very limited. He told them as much. Most of us would like to think we could be stronger than the disciples on that night so long ago. In truth, we, at least most of us, would find it as difficult to stay awake as they did.
And then, it was over. The mob, led by Judas was present. They were there at the instructions of the Chief Priests. They were there to bring about the beginning of the end, or so they thought. It was just about Friday.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved