From the New Testament reading at Morning Prayer:
They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, ‘Sit here while I pray.’ He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.’ And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’ He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him.
(Mark’s Gospel, chapter 14, verses 22-40, NRSV)
“They did not know what to say to him” – how many times do we feel like that – no excuses left. But all the time, Jesus was going through this for them, knowing absolutely fully what they were like. They didn’t need to say anything to him.
How often is our need to “say” something just an excuse to self-justify and so lighten the load on our consciences?
This window is in Holy Trinity parish church, Heydon, Cambridgeshire