In the middle of the north side of the Grace sanctuary, is the stained-glass window that represents a most popular Christian piety, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Many families also have a picture of Jesus, using a large rock as a kneeler, engrossed in prayer.
One does not find a description of how and where Jesus prayed at the Garden of Gethsemane in scripture, but the image of Jesus praying at the rock is very old. When one goes to Jerusalem, you may visit an ancient church, built in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the slope of the Mount of Olives, that uses the large rock as its altar.
Scripture records several moments of great emotional trauma in the life of Jesus. Jesus cries over Jerusalem, is sorry to see the rich young ruler turn away from him, is betrayed by a disciple, and suffers on a cross. So why does the image of the night spent in anguished prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane strike such a popular chord in our piety? Could it be, that we too, have struggled in difficult times, with prayer? Do we understand the loneliness of a faith decision? Are we reminded, each Lenten season, that our prayers finally do close with the same petition: “Nevertheless, not my will, Father, but Your will be done.” May God give us the courage and the wisdom to turn our lives over to the power of our God.
(Text about the stained glass windows at Grace provided by Pastor Darrel Gerrietts, 1990.)