Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Garden of Gethsemane

I’ve spent the last several days studying God’s word, commentaries and in books about the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus stopped to pray the night of his betrayal. I had so many wonderful revelations and fresh insights to share. But my heart is so heavy right now and my eyes so filled with tears for a matter in which I must only watch and pray for one near and dear to me. I cannot even imagine an ounce of what my Lord felt in that garden as he prayed and asked Father God to take the cup from him, yet submitted not to his own will but to that of the Father. Because he had no corruption in him, Jesus was not so afflicted by his human feelings that he turned from God’s will, but rather he could see clearly what the will of the Father was and he could see the beauty that would come from the agony he would face. And he obeyed.

And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “my soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” - Mark 14:32-42

In this dark time when Jesus was pressed and distressed to the point of sweating drops of blood, He asked the disciples to watch and pray for just one hour, and yet they fell asleep. I am ashamed at how often I fall asleep literally and figuratively when I need keep watch and pray to draw fresh resources of grace and strength from God. My brothers and sisters, too often we “fall asleep” by tuning in to mindless activities and busyness that we lose sight of the importance of connection to God and the power that is released through prayer and communion with God.

for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." – Ephesians 5:14

This is a 50 year old Olive takes quite a while for them to grow and gain size...

This tree is believed to have been in the garden for around 2,000 years...possibly there when Jesus prayed.

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