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JAMES CHRISTENSEN
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James Christensen Gethsemane

" GETHSEMANE "
James Christensen
Feb. 2000

Paper 14.5" x 11" $95
Paper 24.5" x 18.5" $125


 

 

October 1998 - Gethsemane - James Christensen

After partaking of the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray. The olive grove is still there, in a garden in the valley of Kidron, just east of the city of Jerusalem. On that night, in that garden, Christ took upon himself the sins of mankind and through his atonement made it possible for all of us to return to the presence of God. The Bible indicates that his agony was such that "his sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." As he began his ordeal, he asked his Father if there were another way and if he could pass that bitter cup, but the same verse ends with "nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." It was then that angel appeared stregthening him.

“I’ve always felt that defining a spiritual experience is very much like trying to define love. Writers and poets have tried to express ‘love’ in words for hundreds of years. Some things we read give us a feeling or a cue about what love is like, but nothing ever really gets it right. Love is beyond words. It is nonverbal and the attempt to explain it in language trivializes the moment to some extent.

“Every once in a while the Lord will give you an ‘aha’ moment when he deems that you need one. For me, he chose trash night. I was carrying the trash can down the driveway and all of a sudden I just lit up. I was consumed with light and warmth. I can remember it today as clearly as the moment it happened. I thought I was on fire. My soul was filled. I just stood there for seconds, holding the trash can, feeling out of space and time. It then just gradually dissipated. 

“No words were spoken out loud, but when I set the trash can down, I thought, ‘I’m going to be called to serve the Church.’ Even though I was anxious and felt overwhelmed and under qualified, I knew that the Lord wanted me there and I knew that with his help, I could fulfill the calling. 

“I painted the fire in this image with gold leaf, so when from across the room, the gold catches the light and reminds me of a twenty-nine-year-old junior high school teacher taking out the trash.”

Gethsemane - James Christensen

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Gethsemane - James Christensen