And so it goes…It’s the beginning of Holy Week culminating with the events of Easter Sunday. Those events are the very reason why Christianity exists. Unlike Christmas you don’t see a lot of sales for toys or cars or wine boxes during this time of year. Even Memorial Day in May has more sales than during the Easter season. Yet, without Easter, there would be no Christianity. We would have the nice story of a Jewish ex-carpenter’s foster son saying a bunch of nice things. But because of Easter (and the events immediately preceding it), those nice things that were said take on a whole different aspect for living a life and even dying. Easter bestows hope on humanity. (More on this later in the week)

So after the crowds were cheering
“Hosanna
Hey Sanna Sanna Sanna Hosanna
Hey Sanna Hosanna
Hey JC, JC won’t you smile at me?
Sanna Hosanna
Hey Superstar” (Tim Rice, Jesus Christ Superstar)

things begin to go downhill. What was once “we’re #1, we’re #1!” will change in a few days into “crucify him, crucify him!” Another reminder that glory fades in time. Some of Jesus’ apostle’s didn’t quite understand that this change in attitude toward their friend would involve something very drastic by Friday of the week. So to help them understand, Jesus takes his close friends into the garden overlooking Jerusalem to pray for strength to face the inevitable.

When he returned to his disciples he found them asleep.
He said to Peter,
“So you could not keep watch with me for one hour?
Watch and pray that you may not undergo the test.
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26)

When they pass out while he is praying he doesn’t lose it and berate them. He just shakes his head and knows that their sleepiness is a human thing and nothing personal. Sure he’s disappointed, but not angry. We know that keeping vigilant is more important so that we can be proactive than to wake up with a start and be reactive. It may seem like what is going on in the world is too much for one day’s action. Sleeping on it and waking up alert seems to be a better way, but while we sleep and recharge our batteries, things may have gotten much worse. So we need to pay attention and be ready to confront what happens, even before it happens. Our actions may not save the day, but at the very least we were awake and made a valiant effort.

and so it goes…