I got my hopes up when our pilgrimage leader said we’d have the Garden of Gethsemane pretty much to ourselves.
A good chance to prayerfully meditate, he promised. So I settled in and closed my eyes, seeking a certain peace beyond all understanding.
What I got was peace, seasoned with a dollop of traffic. I couldn’t see the cars traversing the streets just beyond the Garden’s walls. But I sure could hear them – engines revving, horns honking…all-the-world in a hurry, it seemed, to get someplace other than here.
Then the music started: A guitar strumming. A street musician, perhaps? Somebody playing for shekels…playing for the crowds as they streamed through the church across the way?
No, I realized, this music was coming from inside the walls…not out. We had company in the Garden. We were not alone.
It became something of a revelation to me, as I sat there that day. I was doing my darndest to pray quietly…to feel the Spirit’s presence. But the world around me was not cooperating in the least.
The blessing, the revelation, came to me soon enough. I blogged about it here – reflecting on how it must have been for Jesus to have experienced his agony in this Garden…while the world insistently looked the other way.
Soon enough, I understood that this beautiful music – and not the quiet I desired – would be the Spirit’s gift to me that day. So I got up and moved closer to its source…desiring to drink it all in.
The video’s a little shaky…but perhaps it can bless your Holy Thursday, just as it did my Mardi Gras last month in Jerusalem. The song, I eventually determined, is called “Great Are You Lord.”
It was a blessing cup for me that day. Truly a communion in the Body of Christ.
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy & Merciful One.