Wednesday, April 13, 2011

6. Jesus Prays Alone (Gay Passion of Christ series)

6. Jesus Prays Alone (from The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision) by Douglas Blanchard

“If this cannot pass unless I drink it, thy will be done.” -- Matthew 26:42 (RSV)

After supper, Jesus and his friends went to an isolated place. Jesus wanted to pray alone without being disturbed. He asked his friends to wait and pray nearby. He knew that his actions -- even his very existence -- brought him into inevitable conflict with authorities who wanted him dead. His extravagant way of loving challenged the power structures, the status quo. But he couldn’t deny who God created him to be. He wouldn’t stop loving. He couldn’t. He had to be true to himself. They would condemn him as a sinner because his wildly inclusive love broke all the rules. They would denounce his love as sin. They might even kill him. Jesus was in so much agony that he sweated blood as he prayed: God, if it’s possible, let this cup pass by me. I don’t want to drink it. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.

God, your will be done in my life.

Next: 7. Jesus Is Arrested

More resources
Jesus and his beloved disciple say goodbye (excerpt from “At the Cross” by Kittredge Cherry)
This is part of a series based on “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a set of 24 paintings by Douglas Blanchard, with text by Kittredge Cherry

Click to go to the beginning
or view the whole series.

Scripture quotation is from the Inclusive Language Lectionary (Year C), copyright © 1985-88 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.

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Trudie said...

This is by far the most powerful post to date. Thank you for keeping the focus on the radical love of Jesus. Nothing is more threatening to the hate mongers of our planet than truly unconditional, nonjudgmental and completely sacrificial love.

KittKatt said...

I try to keep the focus on the radical love of Jesus in every post of this series… and at the same time to express Blanchard’s God-given vision of a gay Jesus and the particular gifts that would bring for everyone. It’s a bit like being both fully divine and fully human -- hard for us mere mortals to comprehend, much less put into words.

As far as the imagery, “Jesus Prays Alone” is certainly a stark and dramatic portrait of Jesus at prayer, knowing and accepting the suffering to come as he lives out God’s will for his life. Thanks, Trudie, for your comment.

KittKatt said...

Insights into the loneliness expressed in this painting come from Terence Weldon of the Queering the Church Blog . He is running his own commentary on the Gay Passion of Christ series. His thoughts on “Jesus Prays Alone” are especially striking, so I am posting his words here:

“In our struggles to live lives that are authentic and true, to ourselves, to our communities, and to our faith, it often seems that we too are alone, especially when young. It is too easy to be conscious only of the hostility and discrimination that we experience, from the state, from the churches, and from public prejudice. We must remember though, that we are not alone. Jesus was alone in that he had no human companions, but he was able to join in prayer with God the Father. We too, are never alone. Developing a strong prayer life will help us to be aware that we are likewise never alone. Humans may abandon or persecute us because of who we are: God never will.”

Please visit for more of his insights.

Terence Weldon said...

Thanks for the shout out, Kitt.

To be honest, I began pointing to your commentary as an easy way out of trying to find something worthwhile of my own to write on such an important, exhaustively treated subject.

In the process, I've become caught up, and now find I cannot stop. Today I will end up with three different but linked posts, just on the passion and death: one which covers your posts exclusively, one which uses two of your posts for a jumping off into the queer passion elsewhere - and one which is my own, strictly personal reflection on just three verses from Matthew - ch 27, v 51-53: verses that I have pretty well ignored in the past, but that I now find immensely significant for the queer passion.

When one starts exploring these themes, who can tell where it will stop?

KittKatt said...

I got a lot out of reading your new posts on the crucifixion, death and resurrection at the Queering the Church Blog, Terry. I am especially struck by your idea of internalized homophobia as “carrying our own cross,” and I made a comment about it on the post “Jesus Goes to His Execution.” May you be blessed as we keep the Easter Vigil tonight.