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Message from Rev. Dr. Eleanor Jackson



Meditation for Maundy Thursday by Rev. Dr. Eleanor Jackson

John 1:1-2
'In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.'

I want to say I would have spoken words of comfort Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane; that I would have seen and felt your pain, your torment, your struggle; that I would have stayed awake and borne it with you.

But can I honestly promise that I would, I could be there when you needed me?  That you would not have needed to say to me, 'Could you not keep watch for one hour?'

What was it like that night Lord, for you, in the Garden of Gethsemane?

The Word of God, through whom all things were made;
the Son of God who alone has seen his Father and made him known.

It hurts Lord, to know that you wrestled, to know it wasn't all easy and pleasant and assured and joyful for you; to read and hear those words,

'Abba, Father, everything is possible for you.  Take this cup from me.  Yet not what I will but what you will.'

And to know that because of God’s love for the world, for humanity, for me – the answer was 'No'.

Yet I find hope in knowing that when things are tough for this world, for its people, for me, as they are now, this night – then you understand.

You said there, in that place, what I long to say so many times, both in honesty and obedience; what this world wants to shout out right now – ‘Take this cup from us…’

And then you are tried Lord, and I always amazed at your answers and your silence.

How did you do it Lord? 
You who taught with authority and power, who saw into peoples’ hearts and spoke to their need so often? 
How did you contain yourself?  How did you not answer back? 
As lies and give false testimony are given, and you are accused of blasphemy.

Your answers are short, to the point. 
The time for explanation, exposition, evangelism is gone. 
No words can halt this now, and you do not want them to.

But I do!

I want to shout out... Leave him alone?  Stop beating him? 
This is the Son of God, this is the Living Word, this is the Messiah! 
This is another human being… my brother...'

I want to say to Pilate, 'Let him go you fool!  Don't be manipulated.'

I want to say to the people, 'No!  Don't shout Crucify.  Stop!  Stop, before it’s too late!

I want to say to God, 'Do something!'

And then I realise this is what God is doing.

The Word is silent,
letting their accusations and fists and whips rain down upon him because God is doing something; something costly, something painful.

The Word is silent
because this is the only way to say, 'I love you.'

And so, I am silent in His presence –
I will watch, I will bear, I will listen,
so that I can hear the silence of the Word speak to me.

(c) Eleanor Jackson