Sunday, March 21, 2010
LENTEN SEASON, PRAYER AND THE BAYNES / Part 143 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/
For the Christian community this is the Lenten Season leading to Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the commemorations of Christ’s crucifixion and his triumphant resurrection. This is my heritage and commitment and since the Baynes’ share this faith I write about it now. Chiefly I write today because something that I read caught my attention.
Gospel writers Matthew, Mark, and Luke have recorded the history of Jesus’ last days. They inform us that Jesus went to the Mount of Olives and a specific garden called Gethsemane to pray. His was an agonizing prayer we are told. The typical Jewish prayer posture of the day was standing, with eyes open and lifted to heaven and these writers tell us that Jesus fell with his face to the ground, and kneeling he prayed. Most artistic renderings of Jesus in the Garden show him with hands folded or fingers entwined, but I doubt that it was so. I know of no Jewish precedent for folding hands in prayer, and much indication that hands would be lifted in prayer. Sadly while he prayed, his disciples fell asleep but they did hear some of his prayer.
The content of Jesus' prayer impressed them for the nature of the request. It explained why he was so distressed in his soul and although they may not have understood his agony at the moment, later on after his crucifixion, they realized that Jesus knew he was going to die a violent death.
When you observe a person under pressure, you learn a great deal about him or her. The disciples had the privilege of observing Jesus near the cracking point of intense pressure. Luke 22:42 - He asked his Father in heaven if He is willing, would he remove this cup from him. Mark records Jesus saying, “Abba Father, all things are possible to You; remove this cup from me. . .” Matthew recorded, “O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. The decisive attitude however is the completing sentence to his prayer in each account, and that is “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.”
From a Christian’s perspective it’s unanimous, “Good thing that Jesus followed through…”
I have observed Paul and Zabeth as examples of people under pressure. As many of you indicate in your comments, no one can fully empathize but another who has suffered the appalling pain of the removal of a child. Speaking about a cracking point because of intense pressure, I would say that the Baynes have been at that point before and may be close to it once again and may even at times feel as though death would not be as painful. But they will come through this. I have not seen in a long while two better examples of inner strength and courage as that which is demonstrated by Paul and Zabeth. They are inspiring. These qualities in themselves should speak volumes about their ability to do a good job of parenting the children God gave them.