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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Sitting Watch

Matthew 26:36-46

“36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.” 43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.

45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

Was there ever a time when someone sat up with you as you agonized over a decision to make, or went through a time of suffering?  What would you have thought if this person slept most of the time they were with you?

The disciples that Jesus took with him to Gethsemane were the same disciples that he took with him to the Mount of Transfiguration.  He asked them to sit and keep watch a distance away while he prayed, and agonized, and wrestled.  He described himself as overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.

And yet, the disciples slept.

During our times of struggle, we take it for granted that God is sitting watch with us. As we pray and cry out in our agony, God is with us.   As we suffer our greatest hurt, God is there.

As we dry our eyes and walk out the door, God is with us.

And He never slept.

May the love of Christ be with you,

Rev. Eric Lanier (Retired)

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