Vigil

 

Gethsemane by Dela Hayes Coward

Gethsemane by Dela Hayes Coward

A post from 2010.

Stay with me.  Remain here with me.

Watch and pray.

Watch and pray.

For Christians, this is the night in the garden of Gethsemane.  This is the night that holds the tension.  This is the night in which we know something horrible will happen.

The night of betrayal.

The night of treachery.

The night of fear.

The night of awakeness.

This is the night in which the man Jesus was handed over to those in authority.  To be tortured, humiliated and put to death by those who needed to maintain the upper hand of power.

Jesus, you see, was a man who said that the first shall be last and the last shall be first.  Jesus was a man who taught people to resist, who claimed his own authority in the face of established institutions and empowered others to do the same.  Jesus was a man who made himself truly vulnerable to his friends and who also humbled himself to them.  Jesus was a man who caused problems… a man who spoke truth to power.

And on this night, he asked his followers to stay with him – to remain awake with him.  To witness his final hours because he knew something was about to happen. He asked them to watch and pray.

Stay with me.  Remain here with me.

Watch and pray.

Watch and pray.

Tonight as we chanted these very words in church, I was reminded of all the people on this earth who are being taken by their oppressors, their abusers, their rapists, their attackers… their demons.  This night is their garden of Gethsemane.  For some, every night is their garden of Gethsemane.

And God asks us, on behalf of them… on behalf of those who are meeting their abusers and their murderers this night… to watch and pray.  Watch and pray.

See what is happening.  Don’t look away.  Watch the horror.  Let them know you are staying awake to their suffering.  Let them know you are there.

Right now, there are people being raped and attacked, children being abused and molested, homeless people being ignored or kicked awake by a cop, prisoners are being raped and tortured, human beings are being murdered. Christ is in the garden of Gethsemane. Can you stay awake? Can you watch and pray?

Witnessing horror reminds the victim that God is with them.  Our very presence reminds those who are in hell that God sees what is happening to them.  And for Christ’s sake, do what you can to help them.

But even if you can do nothing, let them know they are not alone…

and pray.

About Michelle Meech

I want to unfold. I do not want to remain folded up anywhere, because wherever I am still folded, I am untrue. -Rainer Maria Rilke
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