I have thought often this Holy Week of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He went to this quiet place at the Mt. of Olives to pray after the Last Supper. He had just served the wine and bread, in a scene made famous through Leonardo Da Vinci and countless other artists throughout history, preparing his disciples for what was to come.
There is a great lesson for us in the garden. Jesus prays alone, among the olive trees, he cries out in anguish, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow…” (Mark 14:34).
Jesus, the Son of God, was scared.
He was sad.
He was weary.
This comforts me and reminds me that there are times to be sad. To allow the emotion to sit with you. Right now, as our nation and our world suffer the staggering impact of this virus, it is a time to allow sadness and weariness in. It is okay.
Holy Week encompasses a wide range of emotions. Jesus rides into Palm Sunday lauded and celebrated, a time of joy. The last few days of his earthly mission are winding down, it must have been bittersweet. The prayer in the garden reveals the agony and fear of what he was to face. Good Friday is the darkest day, sad and heavy. While we know Easter is a day of hope and glorious resurrection, we often rush straight to that. Perhaps this year, more than ever, we will allow the full range of emotions to be experienced.
If you are sad and weary, take heart. It is indeed a difficult time in our history. Allow yourself to experience that, take time to sit and pray, to cry if necessary. Knowing, as Jesus did, that there is love and hope on the other side of this.
Photo credit goes to my friend, Jane Potee, who recently had the wonderful experience of visiting this holy place. She graciously shared her photo of the Garden of Gethsemane with me.