...But Thine...

Scripture Reading - Matthew 26:17-75;                        John 13:1-17:26
The first day of Unleavened  Bread.  Passover.  One of the holiest of days for the Jewish people.  It was the celebration of the miraculous deliverance from Egypt.  This celebration lives still today as a holy reminder to Jews around the world of God’s love and truth and power to deliver.
The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) tell of the preparation for Passover – a place, a time, the meal itself.  All carefully arranged by our Lord.  It was an upper room that would soon be known as The Upper Room.  There Jesus broke the bread and shared the cup with His disciples. John’s gospel reveals some of the conversation and interaction that night.  John is intent on telling the story of Jesus revealing Himself as the Messiah, the Son of God.  Intimacy was important to John’s recollection of His time with Jesus.
There is so much to remember about this night.  We know very little about the day, but the night . . . .  John tells of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples, sharing about His relationship with the Father, transforming a long-standing tradition into a new sacrament, speaking explicitly about His coming death, promising another Comforter, the Holy Spirit, and praying for His followers.
And then, there is the other prayer.  His prayer - in the garden.  Alone He prayed while the disciples slept.  His prayer:  “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will . . . My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done” (Matthew 26:39, 42).  “Not as I will, but as You will.”  “Your will be done.”  It is to say that we all have our own “will” as we pray.  And that’s acceptable.  
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Hebrews 4:16 reminds that we should “. . . draw near with confidence [boldly – KJV] to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”  Both of these Scriptures urge us to bring our concerns to the Father with confidence.  But, at the end of the day, we finally surrender our requests and sense of need into the hands of the Father.  “Not my will, but Your will be done.”
We do not pray to manipulate God to do what we prefer.  We bring to Him our preferences and desires.  But it is His will that we seek.  Not my will.  Here are my desires, my wishes, my idea of the best outcome, but . . . not as I will.  We entrust ourselves to His will and purpose knowing full well that beyond every circumstance and happenstance there is resurrection!  
And so, we pray, “Father, let this cup pass from me or in some situations, let this cup come to me . . . but not my will, but Thy will be done!  Amen.”
And then, we wait for that Easter moment of resurrection!
On the journey . . .

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