"lent 2010: keep your eyes open"
mixed media collage
gregory a. milinovich
this past sunday was palm sunday, and while we celebrated jesus' entry into Jerusalem with palm branches, we also drew our gaze towards the garden of gethsemane. you'll remember that we have been focusing on peter this lent, and so we focused on matthew 26:36-46, in which Jesus takes his disciples to the garden of olive trees, and then pulls peter, james and john aside and takes them with him a little further off. he asks them to keep watch while he prays. and as Jesus prays an intense and distressing prayer, peter and the boys fall asleep. when Jesus comes back to them he essentially tells them to keep their eyes open.
i think it is good advice for us, too: keep your eyes open. for many of us who are christians, closing our eyes has become a simple and convenient alternative for really seeing what is going on around us. we'd rather not know so that we don't have to do anything about it. but Jesus keeps coming to us, challenging us to keep our eyes open. who knows what we might see! we might see God in new ways. we might see people in new ways. we might see new ways to love our family, or our neighbors. we might see an answer to prayer that's been there all along. we might see God's will unfolding right before our eyes. we might see the Holy Spirit telling us something in a road sign, or in a discarded paper clip. but we have to keep our eyes open. if we are content to slumber on in a state of spiritual sleep, we will just keep missing it.
and if for no other reason than that this is holy week, and this story is the story that changes everything for us, then please heed this advice: wake up! keep your eyes open!