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Keeping Watch


lighthouse set on rocky terrain

The word 'remember' lingers long at bedsides. It clings to old photos and memorabilia carefully arranged for others to view. It shouts from powerpoints underscored with music. A friend flies home to gather with family around her sister’s bedside, a time to remember. A time to keep watch and recount the ways a life lived is to be remembered. The Holy Week invites us to remember, to keep watch with the disciples and ponder the events.


The disciples didn't realize the last meal with Jesus was the 'last supper' before He'd be stripped bare and nailed to a cross. Each action Jesus took was designed to help them remember His purpose on earth. His first act was to wash their feet, to remind them about humility. lLove lays down its position and take on a servant's task. He broke bread, a reminder of His provision of healing and wholeness. He shared the cup of wine in recognition of the life he would pour out in sacrifice for our sins. The wine itself a product of crushing, being set aside and then at just the right time, be poured out to be enjoyed.


They sang a hymn before going out to the Mount of Olives. Was that song imprinted on the disciples' minds during the long night Jesus spent being mocked, beaten and flogged? Did Jesus' request to keep watch with Him one hour echo in the minds of Peter, James and John? What does it mean to keep vigil with someone? What does it require? Why is it so difficult to do?


Vigil: the day before a religious feast, prayers or religious services held in the evening or at night; an act or period of staying awake at times when one normally would be sleeping; or an act or period of staying awake at times when one normally would be sleeping. (Merriam-Webster)


Keep Watch With Me

by Tamara J. Wanner


Keep watch with me

Keep watch with me one hour

Of course we will

Keep watch with you

Upon return

You gently wake and invite once more


Keep watch with me

Keep watch with me one hour

Our eyelids propped

Our heads don't bob

Upon return

You gently wake and invite once more


O Lord we fail

We fall asleep

What lies ahead

Our hearts dread


I'll keep watch with you, My little ones

I see when you come

I see when you go

I'll never forsake

I'll never let go

I'll keep watch with you, My little ones

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