by Jamie Calkin
Matthew 26:36-38 (NIV)
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 Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
Thank god I go to a church that welcomes trouble makers like me. For example, in talking to an Atlanta-area United Methodist pastor last year, I think I stopped him a bit short when I said the ‘hocus pocus’ of Jesus ascension wasn’t what made Easter and Jesus important to me. Usually, I try remember what Katie and many others at Oconee Street have said: it’s the power of story (not the suspension of logic) that makes the Bible so meaningful. The ’hocus pocus’ line just slipped out.:)
But for me, the story of Jesus in Gethsemane is still the most meaningful part of the Jesus Easter story. It’s no wonder that I put that image of Jesus at Gethsemane (based on painting by Michael D. O’Brien) centrally in the mural of Easter week painted with Ms. Jamie’s sunday school kids.
To do the right thing in the face of fearful consequences is, for me, one of the most powerful things about Jesus’ story (I did the sketch) a few weeks ago (during Lisa’s sermon:). Jesus knew this was the likely consequence!!!
And here is a 13-minute podcast of an incredible story of the same thing: doing the right thing in the face of fear:
It’s about a Catholic parish priest, Father Michael Pfleger, in Chicago’s South Side and includes an amazing audioclip of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
I’ve already written more than I intended, so to the …
Prayer: God, don’t let me forget that You were with Jesus throughout as you surely were with MLK and have been with Father Pfleger. I want to do the right thing, even in the face of my fears and doubts. I’ll try to remember Gethsemane. Thank you for your help God. And thank you for Jesus.