Each of us have had extended times of being away from those we love because of the pandemic. We reflect on the experience of Jesus feeling isolated and alone in the garden of Gethsemane, and we explore what it means to truly ‘be there’ for someone – in alternative and creative ways – through times of separation.
Bible reading: Mark 14:32-42 (NIV)
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ 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. 36 ‘Abba,[a] Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.’
37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. ‘Simon,’ he said to Peter, ‘are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.’
39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
41 Returning the third time, he said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!’
Voices: Here and there
Today’s here and there voices from Roots share the thoughts from a relative visiting a Covid-secure residential home and one of the disciples in the garden.
1) Invite one another to talk briefly, or reflect on your own about the sacrifices you have made during the pandemic to keep one another safe, and how it has felt.
2) How have you felt or experienced Jesus’ presence during times of isolation?
3) Share some ‘good news’ stories about new and creative ways people have found to support one another in the last few months.
Today’s reflection is from the Roots Here and There reflections for Lent. You can find the full text for the reflections for Holy Week plus suggestions for hymns, prayer and follow-up activity online at https://www.rootsontheweb.com/i-am-looking-for/resources-for-lent-2021