Take This Trip This Easter!
Gethsemane Virtual Tour For Tired Pandemic Travelers
This is the place, Gethsemane, an olive garden grove, much like your apple orchards in Canada. Gethsemane gets its name from an old Hebrew term for “olive press.” We are standing at the foot of Mount of Olives.
Come. Let’s walk through the garden. Walk slowly. There’s time. See the giant, gnarled trunks, knotted with age. It took time to grow these trees. There’s ancient wisdom here, so many stories stored in those trunks.
But find your olive tree to sit or stand in its shade. Let the green leafy branches be your canopy, your shelter, your resting place. Now breathe. Breathe deeply the aroma of olives ripening. Breathe in, breathe out.
Breathe in the greenness of this garden, the goodness of prayers prayed here. Breathe out tensions, confusions, and any frustration that followed you into the garden. Breathe.
Here, in this garden, you can surrender in the shade of olives branches, you can be. You can breathe.
Turn and look, down there, in that shadowy part of the garden. Do you see the statue of Jesus praying? It’s said He prayed here, came here with His disciples after their Passover meal and He asked some to join him as He prayed. They fell asleep. He stayed awake. He prayed. It’s said He prayed so intently, so intensely that His sweat became blood. So here, mingled in garden dust, are sweat, tears and blood.
Let’s walk now as we ponder the meaning of this place for you. I wonder, is there a sorrow you’re carrying? Or perhaps you are wrestling too. With what? With whom? What is the struggle? Name it to tame it. Say it. Jesus said, Not my will Father, not my will. Let your will be done, but I really do not want to do this dying. I want your will. But how I struggle.
So it’s okay to struggle, to get to the surrender in Gethsemane.
Gethsemane, olive press, the tool, the thing that crushed olives so that oil can flow to give life, to nourish. Are you feeling pressed, crushed? From you, oil flows to others but you also need the healing balm of oil to soothe your own soul and body. Here, have a drop from my bottle. Take this moment to gently rub the oil on your hands. Let it soak deep into your skin. And breathe.
This is your Gethsemane this Easter.
We must go soon. But here, take these olive branches with you, branches of peace, branches of crowning victory. Touch the leaves. Feel each tendril. Now, go with peace. Go with victorious strength. Shalom. Shalom from Gethsemane.
Gethsemane Garden, Jerusalem