The plot of agony (part 1) - mysticism
Eden, the plot of excitement is no longer existing to us. We left it in sin and shame and it cannot be regained. All the privileges it free have been forfeited. And so every man on this toilsome journey because of life, in the midst of much distress and much soul searching, enters the Patch of Agony.
We do not enter this patch out of choice. Lot calls us to it and we must heed the call. Jesus said "if a man is to save his life, he must first lose it. " Apart from of our socio - efficient status, race, religion, or creed - anyhow of our prestige, power, or intellect; the day will come when we will have to choose whether or not we'll cross over the brook Kedron.
The brook Kedron represents the sand-line amid God's will and man's will. Some of us will choose not to cross over. Some of us will be not capable to hold out the agony, the frustrations, the hurt, the suffering, and the despair. Some of us will not be able to cope and subsequently, look for a new way out. We'll jump out of windows, we'll overeat on drugs, we'll drink ourselves to death or put a gun to our heads and pull the trigger; no matter which to avoid the Backyard of Agony. The rest of us will confront our garden.
How we enter our plot will be essentially dogged by the kind of homework we have made. Man has been a nomad and a itinerant ever since he was exiled from the first Garden; the Plot of Eden with its sinless wonders and its trees of life and knowledge. Ever since we left this garden, man has been nomadic in a never-ending wilderness. Now, we find ourselves in critical need of a celebrity to point the way back.
Well, if we want to get ourselves at once again, it is imperative that we go back to the spot where we first detoured from Christ. The hymn acknowledges this fact as it declares:
I've wandered far away from God, the paths of sin too long I've trod. I've atrophied many precious years; I now repent with bitter tears. I'm tired of sin and straying Lord, I'll trust Thy love, have faith in Thy word. My soul is sick, my heart is sore, my asset renew, my hope restore. Lord, I'm advent home.
Somehow, we must adhere to the same path that Jesus trod. Jesus went all the way. He crossed over the brook Kedron; He went all the way to a different tree of life in an added garden. That patch is called Gethsemane.
We know that Jesus died at Calvary and rose again. But I ask that you think along with me for the reason that in a very real and profound sense, Jesus had by now died ahead of He got to Calvary. Somehow, Calvary had by now happened in the agony of Gethsemane. Somehow, Jesus qualified spiritual, mental, bodily and emotional death in the agony of the Plot Gethsemane.
The Gospel of Matthew represents Jesus as saying, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death. " Jesus was wholly encompassed, encircled, and overwhelmed with grief. He was plunged completely in be sorrowful and woe. Mark account that Jesus "began to be sore amazed and to be very heavy. " And it is attention-grabbing that the great physician, Dr. Luke, is the only editor to bring up "And being in agony, he prayed the longer. And his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground. "
Even today, checkup text has acknowledged this rare form as "hematidrosis" or bloody sweat. When a character is under acute and critical emotional and mental stress, the small capillaries in the sweat glands can break, thus addition blood with sweat. This deal with alone had used up Jesus of his strength. We say that Jesus was resurrected on Easter, and in certainty He was. But in a different sense, He died and was come what may resurrected in Gethsemane.
We too, all of us, are on our journey. The first backyard cannot be reclaimed. It is a lost paradise. And if we are going to be saved, we must by hook or by crook struggle while stumbling to pass by means of the agree with garden; the Plot of Agony. We must confront our patch since somehow, it is there where we die and it is there where we are resurrected again, or we fail forever.
And you know, encounter has skilled me that the most agony suffered in our Gethsemane is the fact that it must be suffered alone. This is true of all pain is it not? Agony is of such that other folks may identify with with us; they may empathize for us, but there is a touch about agony that all of us must bear alone. It is a point in our lives when we are affected to move to an added dimension; a dimension away from the mundane, a dimension clear of the realm of everyday everyday communal activities.
When we enter our garden, we detect that it is dissimilar any place we have ever practiced before. It is a place of bitter anguish and a hunger appeal to escape, to get away. It is a place of agony on a gigantic scale. It is a place of failing, of deficiency, of spiritual torture, of sinking of spirit.
(continued in Part 2)
* More in rank about Hematidrosis can be obtained at: beyondthepassion. org.
Rev. Saundra L. Washington, D. D. , is an intended clergywoman, old hand collective worker, and Come to grief of AMEN Ministries. http://www. clergyservices4u. org. She is also the biographer of two chocolate table books: Room Beneath the Snow: Poems that Preach and Negative Disturbances: Homilies that Teach. Her new book, Out of Deep Waters: My Grief Management Workbook, will be accessible in July.
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