“Then Jesus went with his disciples to…Gethsemane, and he said to them, “…My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
Matthew 26:36-39 (NIV UK)
Recently, Syria has been torn apart by civil war. Peaceful communities have been transformed into combat zones and many have sought refuge in other countries. But from all the chaos, something unexpected has emerged….
High up on Cherubim mountain, overlooking an ancient pilgrim road that once linked Jerusalem with Constantinople, a massive 105-foot statue of Christ has risen into being. Assembled over the span of three days, the statue stands on the edge of a Greek Orthodox monastery and serves as a reminder of Christ’s continuing work in this world.
When I read this, I thought: “Oh no! What if a bomb destroys Jesus? We should get him to safety!” And then I stopped and shook my head, as I realised: this is exactly where Jesus belongs. Let me explain…
From the very beginning of his life, Jesus never played it safe. He was born into the middle of a chaotic political background. And during his ministry he was continually going against the status quo so that he could join the outcasts and share life with them. That’s just who Jesus is. He doesn’t hang back and let us deal with our problems alone. Instead, he is always with us—in the midst of our classrooms, out on our highways, here in our government—and even in our war zones. There’s no place Christ won’t go for his beloved.
I know that this statue won’t solve the problems in Syria, but my hope and prayer is that it will remind those in conflict of Christ’s words to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane. I pray that it will inspire combatants on both sides of the war to strive for peace.
Please join me in praying for a peaceful end to the conflict in Syria.
Holy Father, we look out at a world constantly plunged into conflict and mayhem. Whilst we sigh and cry for all those involved, especially the innocent, we acknowledge that it is only by your Son who is the Prince of Peace and who will bring peace to this troubled world when he comes again. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
About the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.