As preparation for Easter this year, I am meditating and reading different books on Lent and today, I came across these lines: “We watch with Christ in Gethsemane”, from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s God is on the Cross book on Lent. It is just what I needed to read.
When the world is spinning faster than our washing machine and out of control! When all seems to be chaos, fake news, good news, and bad news. When I hear of countries oppressing their people, when I think about woman’s day, still, I can’t forget the many women and young girls who are being trafficked for sex or the immigrant mothers crossing the waters in the hope of a better life.
When on our tv screens and all over the media, we see a family in crisis, with deep division and profound hurts. But if we are honest, this could be us, and it is us. When lockdown has meant that isolation has cut deeply in our lives, and I hear my dad saying I feel the weight of loneliness. When I hear our friends battling with cancer…We need to Stop.
Bonhoeffer points out that we “must first learn how to believe. When we have fully renounced making something out of ourselves—be it a saint or a converted sinner or a churchman or woman (a so-called priestly figure!), a righteous or an unrighteous person, a sick or a healthy person—when we have renounced all of that, we fall completely into God’s arms … We then take seriously no longer our own suffering, but the suffering of God in the world. We watch with Christ in Gethsemane. This, I think, is faith”.
Yet it is the mist of this chaos; we need to look with Jesus at the site where all sufferings were placed and where God’s blessing was released. “And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:44 ESV)
In the midst of all this … a song came, a WhatsApp text came through with a song reminding me that I am not alone, that I am blessed.
How did my friend Brian Houston know that I needed to hear his song today? Isn’t this the God of the Cross coming down to us and relieving our pain? Is this what it means to fall entirely into God’s arms?
Why don’t we stop, watch and listen, it could well be that this Blessing will bring healing and God’s peace.