Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

Be Present

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Reading: Matthew 26:36-46

Verse 38: “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

Photo credit: Kyle Johnson

Today we fast-forward in the story line. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday yet in our reading for today we find ourselves in the garden, just before Jesus’ arrest. Today is an invitation to remember what lies ahead, to choose to be present on the holy days that lie just ahead.

Jesus, feeling very emotional, takes the disciples to the garden to pray. He is doing some deep wrestling in his soul and he wants his friends to be with him, to pray for him, to offer their strength in this trial. Inviting Peter, James, and John to go even a little deeper, he says to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” When our lives have touched on a place of sorrow such as this, we too have longer for others to be present, to pray, to listen. We can relate to Jesus’ need here.

As he prays and wrestles with the task before him, Jesus surrenders again and again and again to God’s will. After each time of intense prayer, he finds the disciples sleeping. I’d guess that you too have endured a time of wrestling with your faith as well as times of deep sorrow when you’ve found yourself feeling alone, as Jesus did. So the invitation today is to stay awake, to be present. Yes, celebrate the palm parade tomorrow. This too is part of the week ahead. But don’t just skip ahead to the “He is risen!” of Easter morning. Be present. Walk with Jesus through the hard days of the coming week. In spirit, sit and feel, experience and connect, pray. Be present to Jesus Christ in the week ahead.

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for the reminder and the invitation to draw near, to connect in. Lead and guide me in the coming week to stay awake, to be present. In these moments, encounters, and experiences, bring me closer to you. Amen.

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