Saturday, August 29, 2015

Conflict in the Garden

Immediately, while Jesus 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.” So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” All of them deserted him and fled.
A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked. Mark 14:43-52 
We are visiting with my 89 year old mother-in-law in Western Pennsylvania. She is feisty and active, still driving and getting around. She has been a widow  for almost 30 years. After 40 years I have learned to navigate the situation pretty well. Families are complicated, particularly when couples come together from very different  back grounds. Families can be hard on each other, even when trying to be welcoming and nice, judgement and misunderstanding can happen. The family garden can be a scary place, and yet we are invited to go, to seek God in the midst of confusion and contradictions.
Jesus is betrayed and the responses from the disciples are varied and complicated. Hours before they sat as a family and now they were torn asunder as Jesus was arrested. The high drama caused more violence and fear, folks fleeing and striking out. We humans often respond to complicated situation by fleeing and getting violent. God invites us to seek yet another way, the way of inviting God to finish the drama, God to finish the action.
Today I ask God to help me be patient with every one and every thing. May the conflicts we face invite us to seek God's completion, God's understanding of the challenges and God's completion of the drama we are in.

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