GET UP AND PRAY
Gethsemane is a garden on the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed when he was in town. It was the place in this olive grove where the olives are squeezed to produce the oil that is the staple of every meal and the fuel for every lamp. It would be the place where Jesus feels the squeeze too.
Here he wrestles with his calling as the suffering servant. The anguish is so great his capillaries break and he sweats blood. Fear causes fight or flight. The temptation is there. His disciples will fall to both of those. Jesus will choose love for his Father and humanity that gives him courage to stand.
We make our own choices
But his disciples must make their own choices. He doesn’t want them to die with him. They need to carry on his work. So he has prayed for them. And he tells them to pray that they don’t fall into temptation.
But of course they do. Instead of praying, they are sleeping. When the time comes, they fight and then they flee. Jesus cleans up their messes and submits to his calling. But their biggest test or temptation will come next. What will they do with their failure?
What do you do next?
Peter’s fear will get the best of him and he will deny Jesus three times. Jesus has told him that already. But what will he do next? Will shame and despair lead him to give up or will faith, hope and love lead him to press on.
Temptations are stacked. First, you are tempted to do something stupid. Then, you are tempted to hate yourself for being so stupid. That’s why you need to get up and pray before you fall and after!
Get up and pray!
With a week left until Easter, it’s a good time to get back on the wagon with your fasting. If you are like me, you failed at your commitment to give something up for lent. What a great opportunity to practice!
Get up and pray that you will not fall into temptation. If you are looking for extra help training in this time that has been putting the squeeze on us all, Pastor Bob’s Spiritual Warfare Discipleship class starts tonight.