This is based on one of Rev Dr Helen Jenkin’s reflections at our joint communion service on Palm Sunday, just after we had read Mark 14:32–42:
When I was in Livingston I spent many hours in the Garden of Gethsemane! We ran a workshop each year for the P7s in many of the schools across the town, as they ‘cracked the Easter code’. It’s a brilliant opportunity to tell the story and enable the children to explore their reactions to it. The section I ended up facilitating was the Garden of Gethsemane, where they explored Jesus’ struggle with what is ahead of him.
In those moments we see a very human Jesus. He may be divine, but he is also a man, and the struggle he faces is real. He knows what is coming, and he would do anything to avoid it. The struggle is agony – “I am deeply grieved, even to death” – and the choice is clear – go God’s way, or turn aside.
We see too the humanity of Jesus’ disciples, who faced with the opportunity to stand alongside him in his pain, to support him in prayer, can only manage to fall asleep.
Where do you find yourself in this scene? In pain; struggling with the challenge to do what is right; wanting to support someone you love but failing; feeling let down by your friends.
This week the whole range of human emotions are experienced by Jesus and his friends, so whatever you’re dealing with at the moment, there will probably be something you can relate to, a place where you can draw close to Jesus knowing that he has some understanding of what it is to be where you are. For some of you that may be crying out in worship and praise, but for others the cries may be of pain or frustration. Whatever you bring today, you can bring it to Jesus.