Who am I in this story? I would like to resonate with Jesus, who is giving his whole self over to God for what he knows is a horrible, painful torture and death. But in truth I really have trouble giving myself to God fully. I want to, but I am not there yet – though I am moving, slow but sure, in that direction.
I am more like the disciples: listening, trying to get it, but basically clueless, especially before I have time to think. Even in the midst of my time trying to discern where God is leading, I can sometimes be quick to react and try to keep things safe and understandable, if not controllable. When this happens, I have often heard Jesus calling me back, reminding me to trust, but not before I have reacted and, sometimes, done some damage.
I am fascinated by the brief, out-of-context mention of the young man following Jesus who, at the end of this scene, is grabbed but runs away naked and defenseless. He doesn't get it and knows it, and is honest about his need to avoid what is coming. There are often times that I want to avoid what I am being called to, but it is not uncommon that I try to pretty it up, to make it seem like I am seeking when I am really avoiding.
Then there are the “heavies” who are “just doing their job without thinking.” I like to think this is never me. But there are times when I phone it in – with God, with myself, with my family. And my work in the service of the church leaves opportunities to question the status quo and look for justice and relevance – and while I often pursue this with passion I am aware that there are times that I simply go along with the program. Sometimes it is easier; sometimes my interests align more with the institutions than with others.
It is still awesome to think that Jesus willingly – gladly -- gave himself to arrest, trial, torture and execution. We think of Judas' betrayal as the key action, but as God, as the Christ, Jesus could only have been handed over as his intention, just as the only way to convict him was for him to fail to mount any defense at all! Thank God that it does not matter that I am not worthy of this!