Holy Week, Stay Here and Keep Watch
34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,”he said to them.“Stay here and keep watch.” -Mark 14:34
The last place I considered all of us being this week is home, staying where we live for most of us who aren't essential workers. If we are essential workers, we are seeing the effects of our land facing the unprecedented shift in our daily life.
We are reading of loss, fear, threats, and meme's that help us experience a cathartic release from time to time. May I help us all remember that the times being what they are, we are never as overwhelmed as Christ was in the garden of Gethsemane.
The task at hand for Jesus was to face the will of the father with being both fully God and fully Human. The only example we have of the nature of mankind without sin working his spirit and mind to the point of obedience while his companions drift to sleep from the stress of it all. I am so thankful that we have the words of Christ praying for this cup of persecution to be taken from him, as it gives us insight of our Lord's human will intact, but ultimately coming into obedience to the Father. Christ comes upon his companions asleep and not able to keep to his command to keep watch. I wonder, what would they had received if they were to behold Christ sweating like blood and crying out in his grief? Would they be given a sight too terrorizing for their palettes to swallow? Or would they have been amazed at the devotion and love that ultimately gives way to the act of willingly being sacrificed for all by the act of a kiss?
Here we sit on the second day of Holy Week, we all have items we are doing to either keep normal parts of our lives going or to pass the time and it is wearisome to keep focus on God. Yet, that is exactly the call this week, to keep a watchful eye on the work of God both within our hearts and at the world you are part of still. To not doze off to some slumber as we wait for an all clear signal from some form of authority.
We must be willing to walk through the moments leading to resurrection. To bear with God the sorrow he bears for the world that is in more turmoil than the day before. We must see that we are to remain engaged with the conversation and realize that this is the call to keep watch as well for those who may turn to God this week.
The outcomes of this season may be when God moves into the hearts of those that have been hardened for years. We must take the opportunity to allow our authentic love for God and others to be the focus of this time, not learning a new skill or some other distraction from the gospel. Although we are staying home to save lives, we are still a sent people. We are the people that need to see that this is one of the greatest opportunities given to the body of Christ to introduce those to the Savior that was overwhelmed to the point of death because of the compassion, love, and mission to save all from the death. A Messiah that willingly brought all that was taking shape within him to remain in perfect obedience so that what resulted was the end of creation no longer separated from God.
Perhaps, this is when our watchful eyes and focused attention is able to see and respond to those who are perishing. Where we have the honor and call to extend the answer that turns grief into joy, fear into trust, and aimlessness to a firm resolve to follow Christ all the more in this time.
Keep Looking Up!
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