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  • Writer's pictureBill Berger

Lent Meditation

Updated: Feb 18

Reading:

“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”

~Psalm 23:4

(pause)


Reflecting:


33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that, if possible the hour might pass from him.”

~Mark 14:33-35


As Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with him, we observe a very human Jesus, revealing vulnerability and the burden of what he is about to endure. The depth of his anguish is so profound that he expresses a desire for his friends' support, asking them to remain with him so he is not alone.

This very human reaction of Jesus gives us opportunity to observe his capacity to experience intense emotions and vulnerability. Despite his divinity, he grapples with the weight of his imminent suffering, demonstrating a very human response that we can relate to.


Moreover, the passage emphasizes the necessity of prayer during moments of intense pain and anguish. Jesus, in his vulnerable state, seeks peace and calm through prayer, displaying a profound sense of spiritual connection and reliance on Father God. The fact that Jesus is show seeking God’s help in his distress serves as a powerful example for Christ followers, reinforcing the importance of faith and the need for community during times of trouble and suffering.


Ultimately, this passage serves as a poignant reminder of the fact that people experience suffering and the significance of surrender to God, in Christ, to navigating life's most challenging moments.


-In Jesus’ moment of need, he asked Peter, James, and John to support him in prayer. Who are these people for me?

-Why does it feel so vulnerable to bring friends along my journey of suffering?

-When did God show up during your moment of pain, disappointment, or suffering? How did he help? What is your story about that?


(pause)


Gratitude


I take a moment to thank God for those friends I can call on when I am at my most vulnerable. I am also aware, if I am honest, that I have been disappointed by friends who weren’t there when I needed them to be. (Jesus’ best friends failed him too in Gethsemane; see Mark 14:37-41)


(pause)


Prayer: A fourteenth-century prayer of trust from Thomas à Kempis:


O Lord my God,

do not be far from me.

My God, have regard to help me.

I have many thoughts and great fears afflicting my soul.

How will I pass through unhurt?

How will I break them to pieces?

This is my hope, my one only consolation,

to flee to you in every tribulation,

to trust in you,

to call on you from my inmost heart,

and to wait patiently for your consolation.

Amen.


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