“32They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ 33He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. 34And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.’ 35And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ 37He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? 38Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ 39And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. 41He came a third time and said to them, ‘Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.’ Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.’”
Jesus and the disciples travel from the table, we assume by foot, from someone’s home to this garden, this place away called Gethsemane. While the gospel of Luke calls it the Mount of Olives. One scholar thinks Gethsemane is possibly a derivation of the Hebrew and Aramaic word for ‘oil press,’ and it would make sense the gospels are referring to the same place, on the Mount of Olives where the oil press is and thus at night, silent. It’s a place only known in the scriptures. It was space away, out of the dust, noise, and people of Jerusalem, where Jesus could pray. We hear the plea of a dedicated Son who is internally struggling with what is to come. And we’d hope he heard some words of comfort?
Gracious Father, we too, in the darkest, silent night turn to you in prayer. Always hopeful you hear them and answer them, maybe not how we ask, but answer none the less. May we find comfort that you heard your Son’s prayers too and held him as Beloved through it all and promise us none less as well. Amen.