The Third Saturday of Advent

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And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.

And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.

And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

Matthew 26:40-45

 

Only two more days and the Christmas Season begins. Sadly for many the hustle and bustle of the modern day Christmas has them worn out before Christmas even begins.

It pains me to hear some say, “I will be glad when it is over!”

OVER – when it hasn’t yet begun.

If that is where you find yourself this last Saturday before Christmas then I would like to share with you this poem I discovered in a little book called “Streams In The Desert.” The message is especially appropriate for these busy days.

“I’m too tired to trust and too tired to pray,

Said one, as the over-taxed strength gave way.

The one conscious thought by my mind possessed,

Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.

 

“Will God forgive me, do you suppose,

If I go right to sleep as a baby goes,

Without asking if I may,

Without ever trying to trust and pray?

 

“Will God forgive you? Why think, dear heart,

When language was an unknown art,

Did a mother deny you needed rest,

Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast?

 

“Did she let you want when you could not ask?

Did she set her child an unequal task?

Or did she cradle you in her arms,

And then guard your slumber against alarms?

 

“Ah, how quick was her mother love to see,

The unconscious yearnings of infancy.

When you’ve grown too tired to trust and pray,

When over-wrought nature has quite given way:

 

“Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,

As you used to do on a mother’s breast,

He knows all about it – the dear Lord knows,

So just go to sleep as a baby goes;

 

“Without even asking if you may,

God knows when His child is too tired to pray.

He judges not solely by uttered prayer,

He knows when the yearnings of love are there.

 

“He knows you do pray, He knows you do trust,

And He knows, too, the limits of poor weak dust.

Oh, the wonderful sympathy of Christ,

For His chosen ones in that midnight tryst,

 

“When He bade them sleep and take their rest,

While on Him the guilt of the whole world pressed –

You’ve given your life up to Him to keep,

Then don’t be afraid to go right to sleep.”

 

We are in the season of Advent. I hope that you have celebrated this season by lighting the candles, reading scripture, and spending time in prayer, preparing your hearts for the twelve days of Christmas.

But if you are on of those who have gotten caught up in the false celebration of Christmas, if you are weary and worn and ready for it to be over, take heart the Lord knows and understands. Just as he understood when the disciples fell asleep in the garden while he was in such agony. As he said to them – he says to you –

Sleep on now, and take your rest.

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