And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” – Luke 22:40
The cross stands before the disciples. Sorrow fills them. Temptation is coming. Jesus encourages them to pray so that they can stand. Jesus offers them true rest, the source of true strength.
Burdened and confronted with spiritual warfare, with their own weakness and vulnerability, the disciples attempt to gather strength for the coming fight. They seek rest.
So, they sleep. It seems natural. It seems logical and even reasonable. We are physical creatures. And when life wearies us and presents us with huge challenges we try what we can to comfort ourselves and strengthen ourselves.
We all do this. The money doesn’t add up so we withhold our tithe. The time doesn’t add up so we sleep, in the morning and veg out in the evening. We have a few extra minutes at the end of the commute so we grab a coffee. The energy doesn’t add up so in the face our spouses’ need we appeal to our need for sleep or some time to just “relax.” The resources don’t add up so we’ll wait to invite that family till our house is bigger or cleaner or nicer.
Movies are easier to digest than books. Facebook requires no mental bandwidth at all. Sports Center is just 30 minutes. It’s a nice distraction from all the craziness of the kids before dinner or during bedtime. Blog posts and articles online serve the same purpose.
Prayer is hard after the first 30 seconds or so. The Bible is daunting. Christian music isn’t has good as secular music and what does music have to do with spirituality anyway?
Contextualizing in modern culture means listening to podcasts and blunt force typing on social media.
Drinking parties and random social gatherings are much easier to organize than psalm sings or book studies or times to gather as the saints of God to confess our sins to one another.
Right now, I need some me time. I’ll just take a quick photo for my Instagram feed….oh look, cats.
So am I saying you can never have fun? Am I exhorting you to an austere and somber existence?
What I’m not saying is that you all need to be come puritanical, hyper-spiritualized works-righteousness tightwads.
What I am saying is that you are all too worldly. Too easily comforted by the things of this world. To easily distracted by things that seem comforting but are of no lasting value. And that is why you can’t confront the cross that threatens you every day.
That’s why you are not full of Christ. You are all too full of the world and to full of yourselves.
No one grows old and wishes they had spent less time with their children. You men are too obsessed with merely knowing your wives for a few minutes to truly get to know them. Ladies, the comfort of your embrace is like a shield and helmet for your men, who face the most sexual perfuse and aggressive culture in centuries.
Blessed is the man who meditates on the law of the LORD day and night.
If you are exhausted and the choice is coffee or prayer, choose prayer. If your house is bombed and the choice is Facebook and vino or having that estranged family from church over, then have them over.
I’m tired of hearing everyone’s excuses about the lack of community that really amount to nothing grander than your vanity, laziness and self-absorption.
The vast distance between God and man wasn’t a problem for Jesus. Unloveliness wasn’t a problem for Jesus. A lack of resources wasn’t a problem for Jesus.
His eyes never left heaven where His help came from.