Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jesus in the Garden by Pastor Jamie

Last evening I went to the Chicago White Sox—Detroit Tigers game at US Cellular Field with my son Andy and his friend Amanda. We had a wonderful time together. Andy is a White Sox fan and Amanda is a Tigers fan.

Midway through the second inning four young professional men took the empty seats right behind us. As the game went on I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation.

While they were having a lot of fun together, they were also talking about a variety of issues and concerns. Their conversation touched on one man’s addiction to gambling, another who was struggling with a relationship and a third who was unhappy in his job. They were honest and direct as they challenged one another.

The men talked on their phones with numerous friends who were elsewhere in the stadium or at home. They drank a number of frosty drinks and became louder as the game continued. Eventually they joined some friends elsewhere in the stadium. Suddenly our section was a lot quieter and more peaceful.

This afternoon as I have pondered the Scripture text for this morning, the sermon, our Bible Study and this blog entry I have thought about these men and the sense of community they shared together.

In the midst of 37,000 spectators, these men seemed to have a valuable sense of community. They listened, laughed, supported and encouraged each other. They did the same thing with their friends on their phones.

This morning we heard the story of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. He went to pray in the moments before his arrest. He took disciples to be a support for him. He was brutally honest with God. He accepted God’s will for his life. (and death.)

As we continue on our stepping stones journey of discernment, we learn from this story of Jesus life.

 We are growing in this garden time of pausing, praying, listening and discerning.
 We do not travel alone, but share this journey with one another.
 We can be direct and honest with God in our prayers.
 We are called to discern God’s will to be done and not our own.

Jesus rose from his garden prayer and faced his future with courage and peace. May we rise from this time of preparation and face our future call to mission and ministry with the same courage and peace!

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