MEANS: look at or observe attentively, typically over a period of time; keep under careful, protective, or secret observation; observe and guard in a protective way; follow closely or maintain an interest in; exercise care, caution, or restraint about; look out or be on the alert for; be careful.
FROM: Old English wæcce watchfulness;’wæccende ‘remaining awake’
BIBLE VERSE: Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn't you keep watch for one hour?” (Mark 14:37)
THOUGHTS: This verse is familiar from the Passion narrative of Jesus in the garden before his arrest. He asks Peter, James, and John to watch and pray with him, but they fall asleep. Some churches hold an all-night vigil sometime during Holy Week (usually from Maundy Thursday to Good Friday) to commemorate this scene and allow us to sit and pray for an hour, or more. It is a moving time. Sitting in the silence of the church or chapel, you do find it hard to remain focused and prayerful. How much more would the disciples have found it hard to stay awake after the Passover meal and Jesus’ unusual words. “This is my Body…this is my Blood.” Weighed down by emotion and food, they slept, only to be roused by the Master’s sorrowful words, ‘could you not keep watch for one hour?’
If you have the opportunity to keep vigil with Jesus this Holy Week, I encourage you to do so. You might take the time to sit with the words we’ve looked at since January; and ponder what they mean in light of your life this Holy Week.
PRAYER: Blessed Jesus, help me to watch with you and walk with you this Holy Week along the path to the cross. Let me not fear my own cross, but to gladly follow you to victory.
o MEANS: produce or provide (a natural, agricultural, or industrial product); produce or deliver (a result or gain); generate (a specified financial return); give way to arguments, demands, or pressure; relinquish possession of (something); give (something) up; cease to argue about; give way under force or pressure
FROM: Old English g(i)eldan ‘pay, repay,’ of Germanic origin.
BIBLE VERSE: Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. (James 5:7)
THOUGHTS: As we come to the end of the alphabet and this series of meditations (there being no ‘x’ or ‘z’ words), I invite you to consider whether the discipline of looking at a few Bible words and citations has yielded any results in your heart. Is there any ‘payment’ of a new insight or two? Is there a new ‘crop’ of ideas to ponder going forward?
The citation says that the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop. In the same way, our Lord patiently waits for our faith to produce something, and that requires yielding ourselves to God's leading.
There is a story called the "Daffodil Principle" that encapsulates how small, daily efforts can result in great beauty. This is the story of one woman's quest to beautify a hillside, one daffodil at a time. It concludes by saying "It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, 'How can I put this to use today?' "
PRAYER: May my heart be planted with your word to yield new life each day.
You might jot down thoughts that come as you keep vigil with God.
Draw a field or garden of flowers, and label some of them with the fruits you bear.
Consider how these words and others in this series have given you insight into yourself or God.