Can you drink the cup? The mother of the sons of Zebedee makes a request of Christ, “Promise that these two sons of mine will sit on your right and left in your kingdom.” Christ sets the overzealous mother and her sons straight, “You do not know what you are asking.”
They were asking for things along the lines of accomplishment without hard work, freedom without responsibility, all the gifts and grace that God has to offer without any of the suffering of the human condition. Can you drink of the cup, of the cup of your own life?
The hectic pace of this life leaves little time for reflection. It is an effort to put our phones away and pay attention. Being fully present is in danger of being fully extinct. Can you drink the cup?
It took me a long time to be willing to look at the cup of my own life. Growing up in the presence of alcoholism left me anxious and unwilling to discuss what I had lived through. Little did I know that others endured the same or worse. I lived with that for far too long.
It took a lot of counseling in addition to God’s ability to heal for me to arrive where I am today. Much healthier, but still reluctant to trust. That is my cup. No shame in the things that were beyond my control. To be able to see that the events that take part in each of our lives is God’s way of molding and shaping us, even when those things are painful and don’t make any sense.
Christ’s cup was so painful that he asked if it could pass. All the ugliness and sin the world has to offer. Christ submitted to his Father’s will, we should do the same.
Pastor Shawn, Seymour UMC
Author of Incomplete
When did Christ come into his kingdom? He did so on the cross. Who was at his right and at his left when he came into his kingdom? Two thieves on crosses. Christ had no intention of having James and John in those positions–he went to the cross to spare James and John and all his people from the punishment we deserve for our sins. J.