"Could you not keep watch for one hour?" Mark 14:37
Years ago, a church in California hit on an idea to increase church attendance. It advertised that one of the services each Sunday would last fewer than 30 minutes. They were right. Attendance did increase.
Nothing in Scripture suggests the proper length of a worship service, but most today are in the one-hour range. Just because you occupy a church pew for an hour on Sunday mornings doesn’t mean that you have kept watch with Jesus. What might distract you? Planning next week’s menu? Letting your mind wander during the sermon? Anticipating the excitement of the afternoon’s football game on TV? Reflecting on last week’s business deals? Preparing a mental outline for the research paper due next week?
Jesus’ question, “Could you not keep watch for one hour?” is just as appropriate for us as it was for the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest and crucifixion. If our answer is an embarrassing no, we pray for forgiveness and also ask for alertness and concentration in the future. No matter how long your worship service is, use the time to hear God’s Word, pray, and sing praises.
PRAYER: Lord of the Sabbath, help me watch with You one hour; in Jesus’ name. Amen.
(Devotions from “The Abundant Life” copyright 1998, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time e-mailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)