And after they had eaten, Jesus took his disciples, walking east, away from the Old City of Jerusalem and its Temple Mount, descending through the Kidron Valley, and up again to the Mount of Olives and a garden named Gethsemane. Maybe he was tempted to keep on going.
But he stopped. To watch, to wait, to pray.
And the text says he was sorrowed and sad, anxious and anguished, troubled and tried and tempted to run.
Sorrowed and sad, troubled and tried, we come to the garden of refuge to pray.
“Wait here,” he told his disciples. “Stay with me; remain here with me; watch and pray.”
Sorrowed and sad, anxious and anguished, retiring, retreating, to watch and to wait.
But weariness overtook his disciples. (We know about that.) And they fell asleep. (As sometimes do we.)
Sorrowed and sad and tempted to run, up the hill of seclusion to find our reprieve.
Confessing, recessing—cup of portion, pass me by.
Spirit sure willing, but flesh sorely weak.
Yet soon comes rejoicing with Easter’s disclosure of death bound and gagged and remorse’s demise.
Through the garden’s temptation to turn tail and flee, now Pentecost beckons to earth’s jubilee!
©Ken Sehested @ prayerandpolitiks.org. Inspired by Matthew 26:36-46.