Holy Saturday March 26
One Hour - Mark 14:37 (NIV)
"Then [Jesus] returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?"
I have lunch with the elders of our community on a weekly basis. On this particular day, I sat near an elder who began to admit his shortcomings to me. He knew the Law of God quite well, and in a way, he had been and still was convicted by it.
This elder was a gambler and quite a good one from his not-so-humble estimation. Through our conversation, he shared that he could sit for eight to ten hours at the poker table. He went on to ‘confess’ that he could not take one hour and sit in church. He was referring to the above passage when the disciples of Jesus could not keep watch for one hour and pray with Jesus.
This elder knew the Law, and to a certain extent, it troubled him. Yet even though his sisters and others urged him to join them in God’s house, he would not make his way to do so!
He knew what he was supposed to do, but week by week, he failed to follow through.
I had an opportunity to share the grace of God. Surely God would like this elder and all the rest to take time out each week. However, the motivation should not be the law of giving God ‘one hour’ that the elder referred to several times.
We have been freed from the Law of having to be in church each and every Sunday. When Jesus died on the cross, our failures to keep watch were paid for in full! I shared with this elder something that he said he had never realized. He did not have to go to church to please God. What pleases God is faith in Jesus as his Savior. Then God’s Spirit working that faith in the person will lead him or her to hear God’s Word and to receive His blessings.
Where we fail, Jesus succeeded. Jesus kept the watch even to His death!
Dear Heavenly Father, Creator God,
We praise and thank you for having pity on our inabilities to keep watch even when we are warned. Thank you for sending Your Son, Our Savior, to pay for our failures to follow through on what we know we should do. Draw us to Your House each and every week motivated by Your love and the peace that You offer there in Your special ways.
We pray this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Pastor Ricky Jacob - Winnebago, Nebraska