“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Friday, April 11, 2008

Garden of Gethsemane

John 18:1-2 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was an olive grove, and he and his disciples went into it. Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.

Matthew 26:36-39 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, "Sit here while I go over there and pray." He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me. Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."

This morning we visited the "Church of All Nations." It is where the Catholic church enshrines a section of stone in the Garden of Gethsemane that is believed to be where Jesus prayed on the night of his arrest (Matthew 26:36).

We had left for the site early... and the guide read John 18:1-2 as we approached the area. I had a feeling of anticipation. We walked up to the entrance and I decided to buy a piece of an olive branch for remembering. We passed through a grove of old -- supposedly 2,000 years old -- olive trees. Since it was early, there were not as many visitors when we entered. There was a service underway.

I was really able to spend some time in prayer... somewhat grieving the pain that Jesus went through here... but thanking God for my salvation. Trying to grasp it all... Jesus being a man, yet God. Being here... maybe not in this exact spot... but, again, it is the reality of it all. There is the garden. There is the Kidron Valley. There is a 2,000 year olive grove. It is all wondrous and awe-inspiring.

Rosemary and Sheri

Part of the benefit of taking this tour with the Joshua Fund... are the people. Rosemary is a charming woman who is a favorite of all on the bus. Unfortunately, when we were at Megiddo down in the water tunnel, she fell hard and hurt herself. Fortunately, there are people with medical backgrounds on our bus to care for her.

Yesterday Rosemary told us that her sister-in-law had passed away. It is hard being so far away from family at a time like this... but we gathered around her and prayed. And it meant so much to her to have such love given to her. Hmmm.. part of the memory of visiting Israel will be the memories shared with our "family" from Bus 4!

1 comment:

Ladybug Landing said...

Still here! Thanks for sharing the journey. My grandpa gave his heart to the Lord on a tour of the holy land after retirement. He was a changed man. 180 degree turn. It was obviously lifechanging for him... I know it is for you too.

See you soon.