Holy Land Pilgrimage 2018: Gethsemane

The Garden of Gethsemane and the nearby Church of All Nations, also known as the Basilica of the Agony. See more photos in the gallery at right.

April 02, 2018

When Holy Land pilgrims gathered for worship in the Garden of Gethsemane, Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar told them: “Friends, I am grateful to God in and through the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for bringing us to this historic and spiritual place.”
 
Bishop Devadhar preached on Matthew 26:36-44, using The Message translation.
 

Then Jesus went with them to a garden called Gethsemane and told his disciples, "Stay here while I go over there and pray." Taking along Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he plunged into an agonizing sorrow. Then he said, "This sorrow is crushing my life out. Stay here and keep vigil with me." Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, "My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?"

 
“Eugene Peterson captures it well for us when he paraphrases it, ‘My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this.
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar preaches in Gethsemane
But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?’” Bishop Devadhar said. "Can we hear it? Can we share the sentiment? When was the last time we said, ‘God, get me out of this’?”
 
“Friends, as we reflect on Jesus' journey, I realize that he, too, was human like me,” the bishop said. “He knew what it would be like in the next stage of his ministry.”
 
Bishop Devadhar said, that while Jesus knew someone would betray him and when he most needed them, his disciples were asleep, he submitted to God’s will in faith, as we should - especially in moments of our pain, grief, and disappointment.
 
“Friends, the one who called us into this ministry as Christians, lay and clergy, is a faithful God,” he said. “As Mother Teresa said, ‘God does not call us to be successful, but God calls us to be faithful.’ Yes, ministry is not easy. No one said it is easy. The important thing for us is to sing with the hymnist: ‘All to Jesus I Surrender.’"
 
The pilgrims celebrated Holy Communion and were anointed. After the worship, pilgrims took some private time in the garden to be in prayer and meditation.