Falling Asleep

Text: Matthew 26:46a
Get up, let us be going… (NRSV)

In this text, we find Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and his closest disciples have failed to stay awake and pray with him.  Jesus has come to them once again and this time says, “Get up, let us be going…”.

The Disciples have missed the opportunity to do what Jesus has asked them to do.  There is no going back and trying again.  The moment has come and is now gone.  In fact, just moments later, Jesus is arrested and taken away from the Disciples.

Can you imagine how they felt?  I can.  The reason I can imagine how they felt is that there have been times when I have felt the nudging of the Holy Spirit to take advantage of an opportunity to do or say something and I have failed.  I have, in a sense, fallen asleep instead of doing what Jesus has asked me to do.

When that happens, there is a sense of brokenness.  I might even say, there is a sense of despair because the moment has past, and I cannot get a “do-over”.  There is no way to recreate that exact moment in time to touch the lives of those God has called me to touch in Jesus’ name.

But, you see, God does not focus on our past missed steps, God focuses on the present moment.  God says, in effect, “O.K., you missed that one.  Get up, let us be going.”  Through the grace of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven for our missed opportunities to be the person God has called us to be in the places we find ourselves.  Not so that we can continue to disappoint Jesus, but so that we can learn from our missed opportunities to serve Jesus and get it right the next time.

Jesus is the God of resurrection.  Jesus is the God of new starts.  Jesus is the God of “do-overs”.  So, when I realize I have missed an opportunity to serve Jesus in the way he has called me to serve, I ask for forgiveness and I focus on what is next as I hear Jesus lovingly whisper in my ear, “O.K., you missed that one.  Get up, let us be going.”

Pray with me:

God, forgive me when I fall asleep when you have called me to stay awake with you.  Forgive me when I miss the opportunities around me to serve you with my life as you have desired me to serve.  I thank you for your words that do not condemn me but urge me to wake up and move on to what is next as I seek to serve you better and better each day.  AMEN.

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