Posture. (A sermon on Mark 14)

GethsemaneFinal 20x30-800x600

 

Last week we shifted our eyes to be aware of the purpose of the kingdom of God. Not a passive existence in this life simply waiting for the next one but an active existence because we have been empowered with a beautiful purpose.

 

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

Jesus likens his coming glory to a master who has left his home in the hands of his servants. He asks each of them to do his work while he is away. In fact in John he makes it even more beautiful and empowering than that. Jesus tells his followers: “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”-John 14:12 Do these amazing things and always be alert. For I may come back at any time.

He tells his followers to prepare this place for his return. I want to live my every day with that idea at the forefront of my thoughts. There’s so much hope and purpose in that. It’s an active purpose. Something we can be a part of even in this very moment. That as we gather as one body- this community of Christ. This kingdom. We could enter into the hells of earth that people are living. Show them beauty and life. Show them the glory of Christ that is alive and at work in YOU. Because he has made you a temple, a meeting place of heaven and earth. A meeting place of the divine and human.

 

Well we have been studying this series for 14 weeks now. It has been a great joy of mine to be able to share these accounts of Jesus’ life. To be able to share what they mean for each of us. To shine light on the Kingdom of God that is at work here and now in the world. And so we are almost to the cross.

Tonight I want to place us in the thoughts of Jesus. I want to place us in the weight of the approaching moments. And I want to ask a rather morbid question. Where do you want to be when you die? I don’t mean afterlife. But who do you want around you? What do you want to feel? How do you want to leave your loved ones? What do you want them to feel?

 

For me I just want the intimacy of my loved ones. I want the assurance of their love and I want them to have the assurance of my love. I want there to be celebration. I don’t want my death to cause any uncertainties. Or division. Just hope and joy to keep living. I hope they’ve been able to learn from the things I desire to leave behind to the world.

 

 

This chapter we are in tonight is about the heartbreak of Christ. And it’s in this heartbreak that we see the humanity of Christ. Because these events that lead to Jesus’ death are not what any of us would pick. And that’s not just the details of the cross but it’s what is happening with his friends.

 

Institution of the Lord’s Supper

22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.

 

The weight of the world was on Jesus. He knows he’s going to be betrayed by one of his own. He knows his followers will all deny him. They all will cave to the power of the world instead of the strength to stand with Christ. He knows the religious leaders will turn on him. He knows the empire will turn on him. He knows the Jewish people will turn on him. He knows he will be beaten, pierced, killed. Jesus is looking at the wrong of the world with eyes we may never be able to see with, knowing all that is going to take place and it burdens him.

We talked last week about how to face the hells of this life. What do we do when everything seems like it’s just getting worse in the world? How do we avoid just sitting back and watching it all burn and growing cynical of humanity? How do we see hope not just for us but also for the world? How de we participate in the sufferings of others? When masses are murdered? When devastation hits cities? How do we respond to things like Paris and Belgium, and Pakistan? How do we change things? How do we engage?

I mean we struggle with these things. And Christ here, he’s seeing it all.

Betrayal.

Abandonment.

Corruption.

Greed.

Suffering.

Death.

 

32 And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. 34 And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”35 And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” 37 And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? 38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. 41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

32 “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. 35 Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning— 36 lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

 

The hour has come. And you were sleeping. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

 

Christ gives them a task but the day has overwhelmed them. Their eyes are heavy. Their thoughts are consumed with the tough questions. They are overwhelmed with the day and they don’t obey what Christ has called them to do. “Stay awake.”

 

How often is this our posture towards life. We’re either too busy trying to figure out the hard questions. Like why do these things happen? Or we are too overwhelmed with the wrong of the world. That we are asleep to what Christ is calling us to now.

 

We get caught up in there’s too many homeless to do anything about it. We see something like ISIS and we think we have nothing to contribute. Or we let divisive thoughts and worldviews tear us from each other because we don’t really know where we stand. We seek correction over connection.

 

We actively try to make sense of why our loved ones died or why that person doesn’t love me or why we didn’t receive the desires of our heart that we consume ourselves with sufferings. We get caught up in asking God why is this happening that often we do nothing for his glory until we get the answers. We grow tired and overwhelmed and we fall asleep to our active purpose. Of preparing this place for our masters return. Of living life to the full.

So what is this for you? What is keeping you from actively living this beautiful purpose? What questions overtake your mind? What sufferings overwhelm you from advancing the kingdom of God?

 

See Jesus has it all against him. And it’s not the way he wants it to be. He desires another way. And he’s so overwhelmed with burden and troubles. Where so many of us have been before. And he asks the tough questions. He voices his sufferings. But he opens himself up to an awareness that takes part in advancing the good news when everything seems bad. He brings the good news into life when everything is wrong and dark.

 

When I was a freshman in college I saw a video talking about the posture we should have to life. It didn’t shy away from the hard questions in fact it dived deep into them. The video changed my life. It changed the way I existed in the world, in the way that I saw the world and it was rooted in this story. And I spent the whole week trying to think of way to put it in my own words but instead I’d rather just show it to you. We’re going to watch this video and then we will wrap up our evening. My hope is that you find an awareness for your life that is constant. That you feel the power that is Christ in you. That it exists through the good times and in the bad times. Involed in all that is coming into being around us. That even in the unexplainable and the suffering you may be alert and awake because you have peace.
My hope is that even in the darkness you can see that there is good news.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s