Shadow of Death
Mar 25, 2018 - Rev. Victoria Robb Powers
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Victoria, several other staff members that are familiar to us in Cox Chapel, and a group of HPUMC members returned last week from the Holy Land. Honestly, there were some moments of disappointment because, after all, the Holy Spirit is no closer in Israel than in your car as you commute to work through traffic each day.
However, there were some truly special and remarkable moments. Many churches and chapels in Israel are built to memorialize hope in some way, but the Garden of Gethsemane is one filled with pain – the chapel in the garden is one that memorializes betrayal. Jesus needed a friend in the garden, but he couldn’t find one. Judas betrayed him, his disciples couldn’t stay awake with him to support him, one fled in naked cowardice, and even Peter would later deny him.
In that garden, Victoria found herself faced with the times she had failed to remain wakeful to Jesus and God’s purposes – we also look honestly at ourselves in the mirror of Lent, giving attention to the times that we have fallen asleep to a world that needs us. We have all betrayed those in need, and we have denied our faith when it suits our own concerns. We choose wrong more times than we care to admit.
As we conclude Lent this week leading up to the cross and to Easter, the temptation is to move on because we’d rather not sit in the Lenten darkness any longer; eager for victory, we may trample the suffering Christ to get there. Our challenge is to remain awake this Holy Week with our Lord.