Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, ‘Sit here while I go over there and pray.’ He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. Grief and anguish came over him, and he said to them, ‘The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch with me.’
Read Matthew 26:36-46
When the news of my friend’s death reached me, the first thing I did was find a shoulder to cry on. I think I must have cried all afternoon, with friends sitting around me in silence. Nobody needed to say anything, but my friends needed to be there to support me in my mourning.
Jesus reveals his very human side in asking his closest friends to sit with him. He needed their support at this time, not through words of wisdom or comfort, but only by them being there. The sad thing is that they all fell asleep. Jesus needed them to share this moment with him.
Jesus knows what it’s like to be overcome with grief, and he knows what it’s like to be alone with no-one to tum to. That’s why he never wants to leave us. He’s with us every moment of every day. But what good is it if we don’t acknowledge his presence?
You can know in your head that Jesus is with you. But what you really need to do is be with Jesus. Share this moment with him.
Lord Jesus, you long to spend time with me, and I long to see your presence in my life. Teach me how to share this moment with you. Amen.
by Jörg Ernst, in ‘Renewed Hope for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2000)
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