They came to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James, and John with him. Distress 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.”
We have recently had Easter weekend, but I want to take us back a bit. The night before Jesus died, when he was awaiting his arrest, he went by himself to pray. At what must have been the hardest time in his life, he made time to connect with God. Even for Jesus, connecting to God was important.
On Wednesday, with the young people, we talked about why, and how, we should continue to connect with God. Imagine we never spoke to our parent, or spouse, or sibling, or friend again. It wouldn’t be long before those relationships start to break down until they’re just not there anymore.
Since the lockdown began, I have been able connect with my family through Zoom and phone calls, catching up, playing games together, and praying for each other. Without this, the lockdown would be a lot more isolating. Jesus was arrested, betrayed, denied, and abandoned before his death. We can imagine that if he had not connected with God during this time, it would have been even more isolating for him than it was.
The song I have linked in this reflection is a version of Nearer, My God, to Thee
Nearer, My God, to Thee. It is all about drawing nearer to God when the sun goes down and darkness covers us, when we are in grief and sorrow. However well we are coping with this lockdown and pandemic, this time is hard. Instead of withdrawing into ourselves, it’s important we keep up with our connections with one another. It is important we keep up with our connections with God.
Our Father, let us draw near to you during this time. Just as Jesus did in his darkest hour, help us to find a way to continue building our connection with one another, and to continue building our connection with you.
For the family and friends of George Dunkley as Steve takes his funeral this afternoon.