InSight [Inspiring Visual Worship]

Upward Into Heaven


“Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.  And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

A friend of mine recounted a experience she had that moved her when she was at a church where the Liturgy was intended to take the congregation in prayer and worship, in heart mind and spirit, up to meet God.

She said an old Gospel song came to mind singing the Holy Spirit to come down to the worshiper.

She saw the difference of calling God down to us versus us reaching up top him to be lifted into His Heaven – His Glory.

Isn’t that what a transcendent experience would bring us? A lifting up toward the one who Created, Ex Nihilo?

I walked into The Church of All Nations (called that because it was rebuilt with the funding of several donor countries)

It is officially the, Basilica of the Agony, and is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives next to the Garden of Gethsemane. It enshrines the assumed ground where Jesus prayed his prayer of agony.

Despite the bus loads of tourists entering on rapid schedule, there are some earnestly devout – praying with hands up, holding beads, head on the ground. It is moving to consider Jesus’ pain and His love and the sacrifice he made for us (whether we accept Him or not).

I remember this story of the angel from Luke 22:39-44 as I remember looking at a painting in Prague that was inspired from those verses – and I was moved thinking that Jesus in agony was strengthened by the angel to pray more fervently through his anguish. I stood there in Prague before that painting and thought of a recent time I was in pain and started crying out desperately for the relief of God. And I thought, pain is the time to pray all the more, and not just for relief, but to glorify God because He is Holy despite my pain.

…to rise outside myself, to be lifted up to meet God, to be in His Glory…to be a part of Him.

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