Gethsemane, January 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple
DayBreaks for 3/23/16 – Remain and Watch
Mark 14:34 – My soul is deeply grieved to the point of death, remain here and keep watch.
Jesus, of course, spoke those words to his disciples on the night of his betrayal after he’d led them across the Kidron into the garden of Gethsemane. He was in agony. I don’t believe it was because of fear of death at all. Countless men and women have gone heroically, stoically and quietly to their deaths for various causes throughout history. Why should we believe that Jesus didn’t have the composure to face death? Certainly, he was not afraid of death for he holds the keys to “death and hades.” But he was deeply, deeply grieved.
As I thought about the verse from Mark, I was again reminded of the parable of the wise and foolish virgins. The five foolish ones had run out of oil and were gone when the bridegroom came to the wedding feast and they were shut out. They had not kept watch faithfully until the bridegroom showed up. Scriptures are full of admonitions to be awake, be alert, be on guard, to keep watch. Why? Because we have a tendency to be sleepy, to lose our focus, to get distracted by all sorts of other things of lesser value.
As I thought about Mark 14:34, I thought that he could have repeated those words as he ascended, and I also thought about what Jesus would say to us today. As he sits enthroned at the right hand of God above the circle of the earth and as he looks down at us, I think he would repeat the same thing he said in the garden: “My soul is deeply grieved…remain here and keep watch.” He is grieved by what he sees – the hatred, the greed, the abuse and immorality. But he would reiterate to us our mission: “remain here and keep watch.” We are his representatives here on this planet. He’s left us here to continue his work and to keep watch for his interests…and for his return. What are you watching and waiting for? How are you spending the time he’s given you here?
TODAY’S PRAYER: There is so much to distract us from terrorist bombings to toothaches and we are so easily distracted, Lord. Help us to see the things you see, to care about the things you care about, to do the work that you’ve given us to do. Help us to watch, and wait, faithfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple