At various times, our sons have spent time in hospital. When your child is in that hospital bed, you don’t move – you dare not move. You sit with them and watch and wait. You try to be strong for them, to comfort them, to just be there.
32Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he told them, “Sit here while I pray.”33Jesus took along Peter, James, and John. He was sad and troubled and 34told them, “I am so sad that I feel as if I am dying. Stay here and keep awake with me.”
35-36Jesus walked on a little way. Then he knelt down on the ground and prayed, “Father, if it is possible, don’t let this happen to me! Father, you can do anything. Don’t make me suffer by having me drink from this cup. But do what you want, and not what I want.”
37When Jesus came back and found the disciples sleeping, he said to Simon Peter, “Are you asleep? Can’t you stay awake for just one hour? 38Stay awake and pray that you won’t be tested. You want to do what is right, but you are weak.”
39Jesus went back and prayed the same prayer. 40But when he returned to the disciples, he found them sleeping again. They simply could not keep their eyes open, and they did not know what to say.
41When Jesus returned to the disciples the third time, he said, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough of that! The time has come for the Son of Man to be handed over to sinners. 42Get up! Let’s go. The one who will betray me is already here.”
Jesus Is Arrested
43Jesus was still speaking, when Judas the betrayer came up. He was one of the twelve disciples, and a mob of men armed with swords and clubs were with him. They had been sent by the chief priests, the nation’s leaders, and the teachers of the Law of Moses. 44Judas had told them ahead of time, “Arrest the man I greet with a kiss. Tie him up tight and lead him away.”
45Judas walked right up to Jesus and said, “Teacher!” Then Judas kissed him, 46and the men grabbed Jesus and arrested him.
47Someone standing there pulled out a sword. He struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear.
48Jesus said to the mob, “Why do you come with swords and clubs to arrest me like a criminal? 49Day after day I was with you and taught in the temple, and you didn’t arrest me. But what the Scriptures say must come true.”
50All of Jesus’ disciples ran off and left him. 51One of them was a young man who was wearing only a linen cloth. And when the men grabbed him, 52he left the cloth behind and ran away naked.
All you asked Lord,
was for me to sit while you prayed.
That is nothing.
I couldn’t do it.
You were in turmoil,
your soul disturbed,
you knew what was coming.
You asked me to keep watch,
and I didn’t.
You were crying out to your father,
anguished for what you knew was to come,
and I slept.
You had to struggle with what was needed,
and what you might have preferred.
You asked that I watched over you,
that I wouldn’t come into trouble,
but I couldn’t do it,
sleep took over.
It was nothing fancy,
nothing complicated you asked of me –
just to watch, to be there with you.
I let you down.
And then they came,
it was too late,
you were taken away.
What had you done except tell the truth,
show them God’s new way?
They led you away,
arrested like a criminal,
and I am left
knowing that I hadn’t done what you asked of me,
I had failed in such a simple task.
You asked me to watch
and I slept.
Tom’s prayer for today (p 155):
King and Master,
help us to watch with you,
to stay with you,
to learn from your anguish
the lessons of love.