Friday, August 28, 2009
Flesh is Weak
"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Mark 14:38
Every day I make a list of things I need to get done. I do this not just because I am forgetful sometimes, but because I am easily distracted. I would rather visit with someone or explore a new place than do a chore or administrative work. I wouldn't consider myself lazy, just not particularly driven. And almost nothing in the world is nicer than to lay in bed with a good book on a lazy afternoon. The problem for is, without a list, I might forget all of the pressing things that need to be done and give in to the rest and relaxation that my body and mind sometimes crave. Often I push too hard for a while and my body and soul demand rest and renewal.
I imagine the disciples had been going full tilt with little time for rest. They were spent and to the point of exhaustion. They had been chasing around Jerusalem, in a frenzy of activity, knowing that the climate was dangerous and the times were potent. Their dear friend and rabbi was talking death and they were wrecked from the anxiety they carried. They were human and fell asleep after a big, traditional meal where many glasses of wine had been drunk. They were real and fell asleep in the garden waiting on Jesus. I have often thought how awful it was that they failed Jesus. And yet, I know how often I have failed my family, my community and Jesus too. In the throws of the most intense moments of his life, I realized that Jesus is talking about himself, his human self - the body, mind and spirit that the Savior of the world took on. He knew humanity in his core most clearly in those moments. He knew his own weakness and his own desperate need for God.
Today, I want to be grateful for Jesus Christ who came in the flesh so that we might live -now and forever. I want to know that Christ abides in the flesh, with the flesh, with you and I. God dwells in our weakness as well as our strength, in our brokenness as well as our completeness. Despite our failure, Jesus is God incarnate, come into the world, our world, for the life of us all.