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Matthew 26:40. So, could you not stay awake with me one hour?
I always feel a little sorry for Peter. If he had known that Jesus would be arrested the next day, surely Peter would have pulled an all-nighter. But as it was, he was tired, and I suspect Jesus prayed a lot. How was Peter to know that this night was truly different, that on this night Jesus really needed a companion?
Perhaps my empathy for Peter stems from my own tendency to fall asleep, occasionally at inopportune times. I’ve dozed off during countless movies, and I missed one of the crucial fight scenes at my first and only Broadway show. I once drifted off during a late-night conversation, only to awaken to the person (sincerely) saying, “…and I’ve never told anybody that before. Thank you for just listening to me.”
Talk about guilt. And that’s not even a tiny fraction of what Peter must have felt. I mean, this is Jesus asking: Stay up. Be with me. I need you.
The funny thing is, I think Jesus is still asking. There are times when we need to be fully present, not multitasking, not slipping into daydreams or fumbling with our cell phones. Be with me, Jesus asks. I need you.