Today is Monday in Holy Week, and we are continuing in Mark chapter 14. Jesus and his friends have shared the Passover meal, and he has told them that his body and blood are going to bring them a new kind of Passover. Now they are going out into the quiet night, up on to the Mount of Olives to pray.
Jesus has shepherded his little group of friends all through the gospel of Mark: he calls them together, he teaches them, and he leads them throughout the countryside and down into Jerusalem. I wonder why they will all run away like frightened sheep when he is arrested?
I wonder how Jesus's voice sounded when he looked at his friends and said, "You will all turn away?"
Jesus tells Peter that on this very night, before the rooster crows to announce the morning, he will say three times that he doesn't even know Jesus, his teacher and dear friend. Can I imagine how Peter might have felt when he heard those words?
I wonder why Peter was so sure he would never, ever deny Jesus?
Throughout Mark's gospel, Jesus has been in charge: teaching, leading, feeding people, arguing with the temple leaders. I wonder what it was like for his friends to see him so upset and troubled tonight?
In Jesus' time, people usually stood up to pray, and they lifted their hands toward the sky. I wonder why Jesus falls on the ground as he begs God to take away the cup of suffering that is coming to him?
Jesus's friends are sleepy after a long day and a big meal. I wonder why it is so hard for them to keep watch and stay awake with Jesus, when they can see that he is clearly sad and afraid?
Jesus tells Peter to stay awake; to watch and pray — but Peter, and the other disciples, cannot. Right now, can I sit quietly and watch with Jesus? Can I try to stay close with him as I remember the sadness and fear that he went through on that night? What do I want to say to Jesus about what he has done for me?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day?
Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.