“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” Mark 14:36-39.
He arrived at this moment baring his vulnerability. The implications of his possible next steps weighed heavily upon him. All of his being: mind, body, spirit. Divine yet human. Sitting in emotions does not equal sin. Crying out to his father demonstrated trust even in this dark moment. It witnesses to the intimacy of their relationship. God can hold us in all spaces and places.
The question Jesus asks sits with us because we have all been there. As Tish Harrison Warren writes in Prayer of the Night, “We don’t get to choose our preferred crosses or resurrections.” Embracing life in the Kingdom Jesus ushered in transforms us. Like Jesus promised, it is an abundant life. But not without it’s sorrows. Because the identity of being Theotokoi (God Bearers) means laying down our lives as daily rhythms. So we demonstrate, by transparently living our moments, the tension of living in this place of in between. But sometimes, the reality of the tension overwhelms our senses. We cry out in our anguished humanity for the cup to pass from our hands in the midst of fear, and uncertainty about the path forward.: Illness, loss, persecution, death.
But we can also cling to the hope in God who hears us, holds us, and sees the redemption at work in ways we cannot. All while entering into our moments of despair with a love that knows no bounds of time, space, expectation. Jesus took the cup. And we can because he did.
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