My Soul Will Wait for the Lord…the Watch

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Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:37-38

Loneliness is a terrible thing. The fear that grows from the despair of loneliness can be difficult to bear.

I have experienced a deep sense of loss and loneliness. But, I have never experienced or could even fathom what Jesus felt that night in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus counts on His beloved disciples to watch with Him as He prays. They can’t do it.

As sweat turns to blood and Jesus cries out in prayer to the Father, the disciples sleep.

Preparing to drink from the cup filled with the sins of mankind would be beyond human comprehension. It is unimaginable. But Christians believe in the unimaginable. We believe in a Savior who died for us. We could not drink a cup containing just our own personal sins. So, imagine the sins of the world…it is too much to ask of anyone.

But Jesus went on that lonely journey to death for me and for you. He carried the cross, endured the humiliation, the beatings, and the pain for our sins.

Tonight, I watch for one hour. One hour of my time for a lifetime of grace.

I sit and I watch and I am grateful. I sit and I know I am unworthy but I sit and I am glad. I sit remembering His sacrifice and I mourn until I can rejoice again.

I sit…

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.

Ash Wednesday

Lent Letterpress

“Peace I leave with you.” John 14:27

I am the kind of person that once immersed in a great book will often flip to the last few pages so I know the ending. Some may think this is cheating and not very considerate of the author’s buildup to the conclusion of the story. Others are probably just like me. We like to know the end at the beginning.

And so it goes with the season of Lent. I love this time of the year in the church calendar and I look forward to spending time in thought, word and deed as we recall the ultimate sacrifice and triumphant resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is a hard journey for those who take it seriously.

However, I love Lent because I know the end at the beginning.

In John 14 we hear Jesus telling the disciples that soon He won’t be with them in this world. Jesus knows that He must leave His followers in order to fulfill prophecy and return to the Father. I’m certain this was a cause of great concern for the disciples. But Jesus constantly reassures them that He will send a helper, a comforter, and a counselor to them.

This remains an important part of the the lenten journey. We need to remember that God chooses us and we are not alone. We are adopted by Him and deeply loved.

Together, we are going to take the next few weeks to walk the weary path to Calvary. It is a tough reminder of a sacrificial life given for our sins. Jesus was blameless, we are not.

I’m ready to remember but I’m also ever confident in a God that constantly comforts us. Won’t you join me?

Pass it on…

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I think my husband is taking my writing seriously.

Not that he hasn’t been supportive…he is always supportive. But today, I returned from a brief work trip to find a 27 inch Mac computer on my desk. This thing is AMAZING and about the size of my dog.

What does a computer have to do with Jesus? Not really much except that I can type the speed of sound and share my love for God with the latest in technology.

I find it incredible that Christianity spread throughout the world basically by word of mouth, letters and eventually the written Bible. Starting with a group of loyal believers who embraced the faith and shared the transforming story of the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is astounding.

Now we come to the present where the world needs to know the peace of Christ more than ever. I truly believe we still have a responsibility to spread the good news. The fact that advanced technology aids in our journey as we try to reach others for Him makes it even better.

To God be the glory.

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15

Motley Crew

Faith versus doubt, religion or confidence concept

Doubting Thomas has historically been given a bad rap…in fact, he’s always called “doubting” Thomas. But when we speak of Jesus’s disciples, at one time or another, they all doubted.

What a motley crew.

They walk, talk and break bread with Jesus and yet they still didn’t get “it” – they still questioned. They wanted more proof. The disciples who watched in awe as Jesus performed miracles, raised Lazarus from the dead, healed the sick, and walked on water harbor doubts. How is that even possible?

Jesus shares the great proclamation “I AM” seven times and His disciples are bewildered? Seriously?

And yet, Jesus loved them. He chose them. Is it a surprise that this many years later we are still surrounded by doubters? How many still want proof?

How many skeptics resort to false claims? For some, they refuse to believe. And yet, Jesus loves them too.

He loves the doubters, the unbelievers and those who don’t know they need Him yet. Jesus is love.

So when our contemporary doubting Thomas’s question the reality of Jesus Christ. Be patient. Be kind. Be loving.

That’s what Jesus would do.

 

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

John 14:1-14