Scripture

Matthew 26: 40-44   images

40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?  41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”

43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words.   45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest?”

 

Reflection

You’ve that experience, I’m sure.   You’re sitting there, in a class room, a conference room, church (!) — and your head suddenly snaps back and you realize you’d been dozing.

Three times Jesus goes off to pray, three times he returns to find the disciples catching some z’s.   “Could you not stay awake with me one hour?”   We are nearing the beginning of Holy Week, a time when the temptation is great to think ahead to a glorious Easter service and resurrection, pretty dresses and hats, Easter Egg hunts and chocolate eggs.   But rushing past the darkness of Holy Week is akin to falling asleep in the garden of Gethsemane.   Instead, Jesus bids us to stay awake and accompany him as he walks toward the cross.    It seems the least we can do.

 

Prayer

Dear Lord,

Awaken us to your call this Lenten season.

If our eyes get droopy and our attention wanders,

shake us up,  refresh our devotion to you,

and lead us into the coming week of a triumphal entry,

an evening meal in that upstairs room,

and a dark Friday.

And only then, draw us forward to that first light of dawn

on a day the begins the rest of our lives.

Amen

 

gather us back

 

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