Mark 14:36

“Abba, Father,” he said, “all things are possible to you; take away this cup from me; yet, not what I will, but what you will.”

when all else fails
we fall back on old tapes
attempting a recreation
to recapture our being
from itself

our partnership agreements
have become too one-sided
dancing and planning
have paled and trapped vision
into sufficiency

wiggle as we might
eventually there is trust
still at work
doing all the good we can
for its own sake

In the for-what-it-is-worth category, this verse was the most vexing for me to translate because of its lack of ongoing partnership.

With no response, Jesus is left with a decision about proceeding with the last point of partnered agreement on Transfiguration Mountain or making a decision for both.

It is helpful at this point to read Nikos Kazantzakis’ Last Temptation of Christ. Though the setting of Gethsemane is different from Golgatha, the dynamic is quite similar.

Aichele15 sets a helpful context for this scene:

“Abba’s silence in Gethsemane accompanies a moment of non-transfiguration. Is Jesus no longer the son of the Father? Has he already been abandoned by God (15:34)?

My translation in a forthcoming volume, Slow-Reading the Gospel of Mark: A Translation, goes as follows (punctuate as you need for sense):

Jesus’ words were
To the Beloved
whose name I carry
to that beyond impossibility
remove this test
not just as I desire
but as we
previously agreed.

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