Holy Week Reflection on Matthew 26:36-44
Over the last few days we have seen the best and worse of people. We have seen the horror of more terroristic attacks and we have seen the response both good and bad. On the good, people have responded with prayers, concerns, and well wishes. People have consoled each other and helped each other as the recovery has begun.
Then we have seen the bad as Ted Cruz took the time in the aftermath of the attacks to call on police surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods. We have heard Donald Trump take the opportunity given by the attack and ramp up the Anti-Muslim rhetoric as well. Politics in general and this election specifically is bringing out the dark side in many of us. When will it be over?
Yet, even when the election is over we see things that suggest the darkness is not limited to the election cycle. North Carolina just passed an anti-discrimination bill which is anything but. This bill holds no protection for LGBT people, in fact the bill went so far as to forbid cities to adding their own protections that go beyond this bill.
Friends, it is dark times.
As I read the scripture for this morning, I am reminded of another dark time. In perhaps the most human account of Jesus in the Gospels leading to the cross, we see Jesus at The Garden of Gethsemane. It is at the garden that Jesus faced with what is to come goes to God in prayer. His prayer is one of struggle and submission. He asks if it is possible for this situation to be removed for him.
It was such a human response. We sometimes find ourselves in situations that are overwhelming and troubling. This is sometimes from our own doing and sometimes from outside forces. When we are faced with these situations how do we respond? Do we respond by fear as I would suggest Cruz, Trump, and North Carolina are or do we respond in a “God way”?
Jesus chose the “God way”, immediately after asking whether this cup could pass from him, he simply put it back in God’s hands and said he would follow God’s will. Jesus was showing us once more what it means to be really human. We will come to dark places in our lives but being fully human means we are connected with God and each other not from fear but from love and grace.
In the love and grace we find no fear because it is cast out. We instead live like the children of God that we are. We look up and not away. We seek connection instead of isolation. We choose God instead of fear.
Today, I will choose God.