The difference an hour makes – Lent 10

Lent Letterpress

Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Matthew 26:40

One hour is not a long time. But giving up one hour for anything you don’t want to do can seem like an eternity.

When Jesus goes into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray he asks his loyal disciples to wait and watch (and pray) for one hour. But when he returns to them, they are all asleep. This follows the Upper Room discourse where Jesus tells them that soon He will be gone. He warns them of what is to come. Yet, they still can’t stay awake.

Some of us are awake and functioning Christians. But our spirit is not. Our soul is asleep. We can’t keep the light of Christ going for one hour. Sometimes, not even while we are in church.

The lessons of Lent are greater than this but they do require us to be mindful, vigilant and on watch for Jesus. Can you not give Him one hour of your time?

Late Night Theology – Lent 8

Lent Letterpress

Some nights sleep eludes me and my brain goes into overdrive. Some nights, I solve the problems of the world all by myself in the wee hours of the morning. Some nights, I can’t solve any problems including going to sleep.

The good thing is that I don’t have to solve anything. Not really.

I’m studying the book of John right now and the exchange between Jesus and His disciples really hits deep. It goes as follows:

Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. John 16:29-32

This specific passage comes into play just before Jesus leaves the Upper Room to pray in the Garden of Gethsamane. In just “a little while”, these disciples who “now believe” won’t be able to watch with Jesus for one hour and will scatter just as He predicts.

I love these guys. They give me hope. The disciples have followed Jesus, worshiped with Jesus, dined with Jesus and been personally CHOSEN by Jesus and they just don’t get it. They walk with our Lord and they are blind.

…yet Jesus loves them.

It is hard to be perfect and it is especially hard to be a perfect Christian. I relish the fact that those closest to Him were so incredibly imperfect. But they eventually become something more. They live up to their calling.

Oh that it may be so for us.