From Rev Sue Ann Yarbrough
Greetings from SpiritCare Ministry. Please know that you, those you love, and those you serve are in our prayers. My intention is to provide a weekly short meditation and prayer, especially for care community activity directors who may be looking for something to share with their residents.
Blessings to you all this Easter Season. I miss you all and you are in my prayers.
Scripture: Matthew 26:36-40 New International Version (NIV) Garden of Gethsemane
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.”
Yesterday I took our dog out for a walk. Jack is an aging standard poodle with very curly hair. About ten years ago, we adopted him through a rescue agency. We think he was about two years old then, so we estimate his age to be about 12. He no longer sees well, so on our walks he relies heavily on his sense of smell.
On this particular walk, a rose caught my eye, and I went over to investigate. Jack decided to do the same, but as he drew near to the plant, one of his curly ears got caught in the thorns. This particular bush has large thorns. He immediately tried to pull away, but that just made things worse. I actually had to pull him a little closer to the thorns that had snagged him in order to gently get his hair untangled. He was not too sure about that strategy, but it did work. He was soon set free.
In the garden, Jesus actually prayed three times for the cup to pass him by. But that also meant that three times he prayed, "not as I will, but as you will." That is the gift of prayer. While we may be called to draw closer to the thorns that ensnare us, we do so, knowing that we also draw closer to God, and it there where we find our freedom. This is what Jesus' life teaches us. To be willing to go where we are called, trusting in the hand that is guiding us, listening to the voice that says, "You will be okay. In just a moment, you will be okay." God always calls us to freedom, just where we are. We simply must learn to trust the hand that is freeing us. Blessed be.
Holy Eternal God, while we may feel isolated now, you are ever with us, calling us to freely share our love. May we feel this freedom right where we are today. May we remember that whatever thorns may be in our path, Christ will always free us from what threatens to ensnare us. May we always have the courage to trust, even when, like Jesus, we are called to move closer to the struggle. We pray for those who are ill, dear God. We pray for those who are tending to our care, and we pray for their families. May your loving, healing touch be known to all.
In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Easter blessings to all, Rev Sue Ann