DATE: October 17, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
READING: Mat 26 40 – ESV -Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Every once in a while (well, more often than I care to admit, actually), someone falls asleep during a sermon. I wouldn’t have shared that information with you but the truth is I am not the only preacher whose sermons inspire a cat nap,
Most of us hope it's because that person is very tired, not because their sermon's weak.
The truth might be found in the story about Carl Sandburg, The great poet-author had been asked to attend the dress rehearsal of a very serious play written by a very serious author. His presence was requested so he might give a hopefully favorable opinion which might then be used by the play for advertising purposes.
Mr. Sandburg slept through most of the performance.
The offended author was outraged and felt he was within his rights to give his critic a tongue-lashing. Chewing out Mr. Sandberg he demanded an explanation. He wanted to know: "How could you sleep through my play when you knew I wanted your opinion?" "Young man," Sandburg reminded him, "sleep is an opinion."
Scripture tells us that the disciples, in spite of Jesus' encouragement, fell asleep because they were filled with sorrow. (Luke 22: 45)
No doubt, Satan told them that if they curled up and took a nap, everything would be fine when they woke up. It was a lie which Satan has successfully used many times since that day.
Some parents close their eyes to misbehaving children; wives refuse to see an abusive husband; churches carry delinquents on their books rather than seeing lost souls.
Satan's lies tell us that if we ignore things long enough the problem will disappear.
We, who are undeserving recipients of the love of Jesus, need to be the Spirit's tools in awakening those whose fears keep them spiritually asleep.
THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus, forgive me when I have tried to close my eyes to sin and the problems around me. Send Your Spirit so that I may, in prayer, do what is right. In Jesus’ Name.Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html