In Mark 14: 32-40 we read about Jesus going to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. This was right after the "Last Supper" and just prior to his arrest. As was often the case at the most important moments in his ministry, Jesus took Peter, James and John with him. They were his guys- his inner circle. As Jesus goes off to pray, he asks them to wait on him there. Three times he does this. Three times they are asleep when he returns to them. It seems unbelievable that his best friends could fail him like that- but they did. Jesus needed them to be there for him- but they simply fell asleep.
In many ways the followers of Christ have been dealing with the same problem ever since. We know what needs to be done. We have all of the teachings and theology that anyone could ever hope for. We read the words of Jesus that command us to love God, to love other people and to carry the message of His love to the world. We know there are things need to be done. But we're asleep at the wheel. Our lives motor down the highway accomplishing "important" things that make us more significant in the eyes of man, but we are fast asleep as we pass the exit signs that say Jesus Revolution. We tell ourselves that others will take care of that stuff. We fool ourselves into believing that after we become successful and powerful that THEN we will honor God. We go to work, we manage our lives, we manicure our lawns and we amuse ourselves. And then we give Jesus what is left over. But there seldom is anything left over- so like the disciples, we sleep.
The institution of the Church (in USAmerica, anyway) is not much better. We are often so busy with buildings, committees, fundraising and "minding the flock" that ministry to the lost and hurting takes a back seat. Too many of our churches today believe that the best way to take Jesus to the world is for us all to be "nice." Christians are nice. We can do nice in our sleep- and that is exactly the problem! Followers of Jesus should be loving and respectful, but we should also be RADICAL! We prefer taking political stances and preserving our "Holy Huddles" to actually taking the risky, radical, world-changing love of Jesus to our communities. Listen to these words from the late, great Keith Green: