Psalm 22:1 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Throughout all of Jesus’ travels, through all of his earthly ministry, Jesus often went away to be alone to pray; but not so on this night. On this night, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus kept his friends close. I believe it was in this garden, on this night, when our salvation was truly forged. Jesus pleads with God, he begs to avoid the horror of the crucifixion, and then he follows God’s will.
When I was preparing to come to prison I too surrounded myself with friends. We are together and talked. They helped me pack up some of my belongings for long-term storage, and I gave much away to them. The morning before I went away a group of friends came over to my house and our rector celebrated communion with us. Before leaving, my Love and I held each other close, and then I left. I went to prison with my head up, but it was only by the strength of my faith and my friends that I was able to do so. And when I broke down in fear, pain, and regret many times in the next few years, it was those friends that have given me strength, and taught me how to be a better man.
We are not meant to walk this journey through the world on our own. God has given us a great gift in the presence of each other, and we should draw strength from that. Even in the depth of his pain our Lord turned to us, lowly mortals, for companionship and comfort. Can we do any less?
So if it is listening when someone is in distress, holding someone when they cry, or simply standing beside someone when tragedy strikes, be there when you are needed.
“Almighty God and everlasting God, who sent thy Son our Savior to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross: mercifully grant that we may both follow in the example of His patience, and also be partakers of His resurrection, Amen” BCP168