Matthew 26:36-46 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.”
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy.So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
Gethsemane by Rowan Williams
Who said that trees grow easily compared with us? What if the bright bare load that pushes down on them insisted that they spread and bowed and pleated back on themselves and cracked and hunched? Light dropping like a palm levelling the ground, backwards and forwards?
Across the valley are the other witnesses of two millennia, the broad stones packed by the hand of God, bristling with little messages to fill the cracks. As the light falls and flattens what grows on these hills, the fault lines dart and spread, there is room to say something, quick and tight. Into the trees’ clefts, then, do we push our folded words, thick as thumbs? somewhere inside the ancient bark, a voice has been before us, pushed the densest word of all, abba, and left it to be collected by whoever happens to be passing, bent down the same way by the hot unreadable palms.
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