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A CRUSHING GRIEF-- COMMUNION MEDITATION


Her name was Laurie. Robert Barnett only met her one time and that was for less than an hour. It was in the ICU at a university hospital. It was the last day of Laurie’s life on earth, only neither Laurie nor Robert knew that at the time. During the brief time he spent with her, she asked one question and uttered one prayer.


The question was for God: "Why have I had to suffer so much?" At 36 years old, after a life of much hurt and intense suffering she was laboring for every breath hoping for a lung transplant that would never come. Robert told her of Jesus Christ and of the place called heaven where there is no suffering.


Robert asked if she would want to go there. She said, "Yes." So Robert told her how, and she said a prayer of salvation expressing her faith and trust in Christ alone.


She found peace and strength in the worst of times through a question, a prayer, and the presence of God. And before another day could pass she died and went to be with the Lord.


The opening words of Mark 14:32 say "And they came to a place named Gethsemane." Those words have a faint echo of Laurie and her suffering, her prayer, and the strength God gave to her.


Although she probably had never heard of a place called Gethsemane, the garden where Jesus prayed on the eve of His death, she probably understood more than others what that experience was like for Jesus.


She might have identified with Jesus at Gethsemane, the garden whose named meant "Oil Press"--the place where the olive would be crushed to produce the oil. And the place where Jesus submitted to being "crushed for our iniquities;"


Isaiah 53 goes on to say "the punishment that brought us peace was

upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." This is what we remember at communion-- Jesus being crushed so we could be healed.




SOURCE: Robert Barnett in "Gethsemane: Praying Under Pressure;" Mark 14:32-42. http://www.sermoncentral.

com/sermon.asp?sermonID=35194. Isaiah 53:5.

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