While our chapel services and many other public worship gatherings are temporarily canceled, we invite you to gather with those in your home or small communities, similar to the early church. We will be providing liturgies to guide your worship gatherings centered on Mark 14-16 written by Cornerstone University staff and students. We will post a new one each week as well as one for Good Friday.
Though we may not be gathered together physically, the Campus Ministries team anticipates seeing how the Spirit will convict, encourage and guide us, through the illumination of the Scriptures, as we journey to the cross during this season of Lent.
This week’s liturgy is written by CU student Mordecai Njoroge.
PRAYERS IN GETHSEMANE: A LITURGY FOR MARK 14:32-50
Today’s passage is closely linked to the earlier passage shared by Susan Burner. From the preceding passage, Jesus and the disciples leave the scene of the Last Supper (Mark 14:12–31) in Jerusalem and proceed to a place called Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives (Mark 14:32). Jesus selects Peter, James and John and shares with them His agony and the pain He is about to endure (Mark 14:33–34). Jesus prays that His Father might remove the cup from Him (Mark 14:35–36). Twice, Jesus returns and finds the disciples sleeping (Mark 14:37–38), and later, Jesus and the disciples meet Judas and the crowds where He is arrested (Mark 14:43–50).
In the worst of times, through the complexities of life, prayer not only helps us navigate our situations, but it also brings God’s presence into the situation. Ultimately, God’s will supersede our will. Though times can be painful and unbearable, we must surrender to Him and His will, trusting, believing and knowing that He is working all things for our good (Romans 8:28).
Reflect on God’s goodness and thank Him through this song “Immela,” which means “thank you” in Igbo, a Nigerian language.
READ AND REFLECT ON MARK 14:32-42
We are presented with two characters who play different roles. Jesus goes and prays while He instructs His disciples to watch and pray in vain. Twice they fall asleep, and that presents another contrast between the spirit and the flesh. All of us have a “weak flesh,” which is a slave to our desires and always seeking to please our flesh. In times of trouble, distress and anxiety, we sometimes find ourselves filling the void with things that consume our souls and cause our eyes to be “heavy.” We must never waiver from continuously pursuing God through prayer, lest we fall asleep spiritually.
Praying is surrendering to God’s perfect will. By surrendering, we give up our opposition toward Him and accept His complete rule over our lives. When God rules over our lives, we can walk in confidence, knowing that He has been working great things in us, and He will be faithful to complete them. Just like Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, we can approach God’s throne with confidence, so that we can receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Scripture Reading: Mark 14:32-42
Song: “Sovereign Over Us”
As we continue to face unfamiliar situations and disruption in our daily plans and life, I invite you, in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, to present your request to God. I invite you to pray Habakkuk’s Prayer (Habakkuk 3) and the Serenity Prayer.
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardship as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did,
this sinful world as it is,
not as I would have it;
trusting that You will make all things right
if I surrender to Your will;
so that I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.
Sing this song as a closing declaration of your trust that there is power in the name of God and that you can call on Him.
Song: “Your Great Name”
READ AND REFLECT ON MARK 14:43-50
Sometimes suffering does not only show in the physical way of lacking something, getting injured or finding oneself in a tough situation. We often talk about Jesus suffering physically, but we usually do not mention the emotional suffering from betrayal or desertion by His friends.
Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane ends when He senses that the hour has come and that the Son of Man is about to be delivered to the hands of sinners (Mark 14:41). What happens next is a betrayal and Jesus’ disciples deserting Him in crucial moments. First, Judas, one of the Twelve, leads the posse to Jesus’ secluded place of prayer and betrays Him; then the disciples have awakened sufficiently by this time, and they walk away. They all forsake Him and flee. Jesus accepts God’s will, and at this moment, fully trusts and submits to God’s will.
Betrayal is always terrible, but when it comes with a kiss, from a supposed friend, it is especially horrible. Yet, there was no rejection from Jesus! In moments when we feel alone, with no one else besides us in our crucial moments, we can find hope and strength in a God who never leaves us nor forsakes us (Deuteronomy 31:6). God is in complete control of His world, and it proceeds according to His will.
I would like to invite you to read Psalm 23 as a prayer, hoping that you can rest in His promise that even though you walk through the darkest valley, you will fear no evil for He is with you.
Song: “Psalm 23 (I Am Not Alone)“