Jesus had asked his disciples to “keep watch.” The New Revised Standard Version renders the phrase as “stay awake,” which follows logically. No one ever rewarded a watchman for falling asleep! Jesus yearned to have his closest friends praying with him as he (and they) faced the supreme test of the cross.
- Jesus lived out his teaching that community is vital to our soul’s health. To what extent do your disposition and family history make it hard for you to ask for support and help? Are you more at ease giving someone else support than receiving help from them?
- When Jesus urged his disciples to spiritual alertness (Matthew 25:13; Mark 13:34-35), he used the same phrase (“keep watch”) as in the garden. When you are mentally asleep and miss a chance to serve God and bless someone else, how do you react? Do you give yourself human blame or Jesus’ grace (“the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” —verse 38)? What helps you stay awake to God’s call for you?
So, I am a little behind on these devotional reflections, oh not much but if you are a member of St. John and following along, you will notice I am a day late in posting… Yes confession, time once again!
I could have said I meant to do that, that I was simply taking the time to reflect properly, but to be honest, I sat down to write the other day and the laptop was on my lap and it was warm and I fell asleep.
I don’t know if the disciples came up with excuses, like: “um… No we weren’t sleeping Jesus we were just um… deeply meditating, yeah… that’s the ticket!” But they deffinately were not fully present spritually and physically. We have all been there, I think the key here is to accept Jesus‘ grace and not to wallow in self blame and pitty when we doze off.
The last question in the GPS is “What helps you stay awake to God’s call for you?” I think that is a great question. So how do we make sure we are alert for anything else in life, well we prepare for it right? I am a big fan of coffee but it can only go so far! Good rest, good health and a little help from others in healthly ways go alone way to keeping us alert. Sabbath, regular worship and devotion are all ways to help us keep alert and when we doze off because its been a busy week, we are blessed to be able fall back into the rest and grace of Christ.