Summary: Communion Mediation for November 2, 2008
(Slide 1) We are at the halfway point in our fall series, ‘Overload: How To Say ‘No’ So That We Can Say ‘Yes.’
And this morning, as we prepare for Communion I want to read Mark 14:32-42. You may wish to follow along in your Bible or on the screen.
And they came to an olive grove called Gethsemane, and Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” 33He took Peter, James, and John with him, and he began to be filled with horror and deep distress. 34He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and watch with me.”
35 He went on a little farther and fell face down on the ground. He prayed that, if it were possible, the awful hour awaiting him might pass him by. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.”
37Then he returned and found the disciples asleep. “Simon!” he said to Peter. “Are you asleep? Couldn’t you stay awake and watch with me even one hour?
38 Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak.” 39Then Jesus left them again and prayed, repeating his pleadings. 40Again he returned to them and found them sleeping, for they just couldn’t keep their eyes open. And they didn’t know what to say.
41When he returned to them the third time, he said, “Still sleeping? Still resting? Enough! The time has come. I, the Son of Man, am betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Up, let’s be going. See, my betrayer is here!”
In one of my favorite meditation books that I regularly read, it said one day last week, ‘When we are burdened and down, when we feel alone and weak, we can anchor our hopes on the following three truths:
• God believes in me; therefore, my situation is never hopeless.
• God walks with me; therefore, I am never alone.
• God is on my side; therefore, I cannot lose.
As we continue to explore the issue of overload in our lives, it is good for us to focus on these three truths and that Jesus illustrates them in our main text for this morning. And I would suggest that Jesus faced overload in these moments on a scale and magnitude that we can scarcely imagine. But because He did, we too can have the strength and willingness to face our overload – financial, emotional, occupational, relational, and spiritual – as well.
In John’s account of this segment of Jesus’ life and ministry, we have a very detailed and clear picture of what was said in the moments prior to this overloading situation. It is recorded in John chapters 13 through 17.
Now chapter 13 contains the account of what we call the Last Supper, Judas final act of betrayal, Peter’s confident assertion that he will die with Jesus, and Jesus’ equally confident (and true) assertion that he (Peter) would deny Him. Chapter 14 begins this wonderfully personal and powerful talk (for lack of a better word) with a very important statement, (Slide 7) “Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me.”
This profound statement is evidence that in the overload that we deal on a daily and even hourly basis, to quote Rev. Dr. Parham again, ‘God believes in me; therefore, my situation is never hopeless.’
In this opening verse, Jesus is setting the stage for what is about to happen. Jesus, as stated in John 13:21, says to the twelve that ‘one of you will betray me.’ This sends them into shock and fear. ‘Is it I?’ ‘Is it me, Lord?’
Now the disciples are on overload. Jesus has been telling them over the years they have been together that He would be betrayed and now He says that one of them will do it!
And now, sensing their fear and uncertainty and perhaps just plain exhaustion, Jesus says, ‘You trust God NOW trust in me!’ ‘Trust you with what?’ we can almost hear the disciples say.
To be very brief, I think that Jesus says to them in chapter 14, ‘trust in me with your love as a sign of obedience to me.’ In chapter 15 he says, ‘Trust in me with your very lives when you are hated and despised for being my followers.’ In chapter 16 he notes, ‘trust in me with your faith as you go through the grief and sorrow of the next few hours because I have overcome the world!’
In our overload; our stress we learn from Jesus at this point and to effectively deal with our overload we need to make decisions the disciples would have to make. The decisions to trust Him with our love, with our very life, and with our faith so that He will help us deal with our overload and find the margin in Him and in the life He has for us.