Wednesday after the Second Sunday in Lent
And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. Mark 14:39-40
The presence of a friend is a gift that not only makes our life sweeter but also helps make difficult pain easier to bear. Companionship – fellowship with another that helps us know we are not alone – that we are with someone who knows us and loves us – can be a balm and comfort in the journey of life.
As Jesus prayed in the garden, he wanted and needed his companions. He needed them at his side – to watch, to wait, and to pray, together. But every time Jesus turned to his friends, every time he reached out for their presence, they abandoned him for sleep.
This isn’t the only time Jesus finds himself reaching out to his friends with no response. He is constantly reaching out to us, too, his beloved friends, to gift us with the grace and gift of companionship. He reaches out to be a presence for us, to hold us through whatever situation life has to offer. But we are not always ready or responsive. Sometimes we are distracted. Sometimes we are asleep.
The good news is that even though we don’t always turn toward his outstretched hand and take his offer of companionship, his presence and offer are never rescinded. They are always there for us. God never gives up. Not in this life, nor the next. Jesus is always our companion, is always waiting for us to turn and respond, to take his hand. And even if we don’t, even in our darkest hour, in our death and beyond the door of our death, Jesus outstretched hand touches us and holds us, softly, until we turn, and meet his grace.
The Rev. Amanda Eiman
Saint David’s, Radnor