Maundy Thursday Watch – A Date With Jesus

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And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Matthew 26:40 (KJV)

And so it begins…another Maundy Thursday watch.

This night, of all nights, means the most to me. While Christmas Eve service would hold a high spot in most Christian heart’s, it is this night, this quiet, holy night that calls to me year after year.

I am not a theologian, but I do know this, one night each year on Maundy Thursday, I sit down with Jesus, one on one, and pour out my heart in the stillness of the night. I am changed.

I wish I had the skill to accurately describe how I feel on this night. Mostly, I just think about the fact that Jesus couldn’t count on those He loved the most for one hour. One hour on the night before it all begins.

There is a total sense of peace and calm in the Cathedral. It is a rare opportunity in the midst of our ever-changing and tumultuous world to find absolute rest. In fact, I am not tired. I am not weary. It is the reverse. I have released the world’s hold on me and I rest in the presence of God.

This is a night to sit with Jesus for one hour as I try to comprehend the betrayal, the sense of loss and the end, the earthly end, of our Lord and Savior. While we know the end at the beginning in our march to Easter Sunday, it doesn’t make the cross less painful.

My belief in Jesus Christ does not falter, my eyes do not grow weary and my heart remains strong as my love deepens.

It is just one night, just one hour, and just me.

Just me…and Jesus.

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…