Thursday, April 05, 2012

We all need people

36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.”37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed.38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Matt 26:36-38 (NLT)

It's hard.

Hard to admit you need help.

Not help moving, or "show me how you...", or "can you loan me $20?" help.

Help with your heart. Help with making it through.

They taught me in seminary about the so-called "ministry of presence." I can remember at the time, filled with all the hubris a new pastor could have, thinking I could go into the hard places, tough situations, and bring a "word" that would almost certainly help. In no way would I ever say that the Word can't make a difference, but there are times when words - our words - fail.

There have been times in my life when it felt as if I would slip under the waves of sorrow. Reaching out, I'd only grasp more pain.

And into those places came people who loved me and cared enough to draw near.

I cannot imagine how Jesus must have felt. Just thinking about it brings me to tears. To read that the most loving and joyful person who has ever lived was "anguished and distressed" and felt crushed by grief makes me feel the shame that the reason in part He had to endure it was my sinfulness.

We need each other. To divide the sorrows and multiply the joy.

Come and join us as we mourn tomorrow night.

Come join us as we rejoice Easter Sunday.

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