Old Brick Reformed Church, Organized 1699

490 Route 520 • P.O. Box 153 • Marlboro, NJ 07746

Office Phone: (732) 946-8860 • Office Fax: (732) 946-9254

Secretary's Email: secretary@oldbrickchurch.orgInfo

Sunday Worship: 9:30AM

Message from the Pastor's Desk

Mark 14: 50 "And they all, (the disciples that is), forsook him and fled."

Only a short time before leaving the Upper Room and heading to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus would be arrested, the Lord told the disciples, "All of you will fall away on account of me this night." His statement shocked the disciples, and Peter, speaking for all of them, reacts, "If I must die with you, I will not deny you." Mark adds, "And they all, (meaning all the disciples), said the same."

A short while later they leave the Upper Room, make their way to Gethsemane where the disciples fall asleep while Jesus prays. Judas arrives accompanied by Temple guards who proceed to arrest Jesus. It's a terrifying moment for the disciples but instead of living up to their confident claim in the Upper Room, Mark tells us in Mark 14: 50, "And they all forsook him and fled". Jesus prediction was true!

That statement should cause us to gasp for breath. In our own faith experience, has there not been moments in your life and mine when we made boastful claims about our faith only to discover later, when the pressures on, that we too cowardly denied Jesus as the disciples did in the Garden that night?

Dr. Timothy Beougher thought about the disciples reaction here and said, "They should have been singing Onward Christian Soldiers," but instead they were reflecting this parody:

Backward Christian soldiers, fleeing from the fight; with the Cross of Jesus clearly out of sight. Christ, our rightful Master, stands against the foe, but forward into battle, we're much too scared to go. Like a mighty tortoise moves the church of God; brothers we are treading, where we've always trod. We are much divided, many bodies we; having different doctrines, not much clarity. Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane, but the Church of Jesus, hidden does remain. Gates of hell should never, against that Church prevail; we have Christ's own promise, but think that it will fail. Sit here, then, ye people, join our powerless throng; blend with ours, your voices, in a feeble song. Blessings, ease, and comfort, ask from Christ the King, with our faithless thinking, we won't do a thing.

Dr. Beougher's parody on the Church is harsh and difficult to read, isn't it? He does, however, face us with an important question as we enter the Lenten season moving us toward Good Friday, "Am I living my life courageously for Christ, or, when the pressure's on to stand up and speak for him, do I run scared?" Oh, may we never run from the cross, rather, let us embrace it, it's a cross Christ has called us to bear; it's a cross that leads to glory.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor George Kaden

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