Richard Hall Online

A Methodist Minister Blogging like it’s 2006

Holy Week: Maundy Thursday — In the Garden

A meditation I wrote some years ago…

It is a beautiful place, this garden. A place of peace and plenty. We have been here many times, finding cool shade from the sun and solitude from the crowds. Even at night, this place among the olive trees offers a sense of security, a velvet shelter that keeps evil at bay.

But not tonight.

Tonight the darkness is thickened with the denial of friends wearied by confusion and doubt. The air is heavy with betrayal; the hastily asked question “Is it I Lord?” still hangs, our only certainty that any one of us could betray him, though all would deny it.

And his prayer struggles to emerge from the darkness of the night: “Let this cup pass from me.”

We have followed him to this place but our prayer is overcome by our fear and tiredness. We cannot comfort him or strengthen one another. This haven, this refuge, has become mired with despair.

And Jesus says, “Get up, let us go!”

For a moment we think to leave this misery behind — and then we see the soldiers. So this is not to be the end of it. Even as we reach for our swords we know that he will not allow us to use them. There is confusion here, and bitterness, betrayal and cowardice. But somehow we know that as he meets his betrayer with unresisting and irresisitible love, this place will be the beginning of his victory.

Thy will be done.





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