When evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city. (Mark 11.19)
In these first days of Holy Week Jesus was making his way backwards and forwards, in and out of the city, lodging most probably in Bethany with his friends. The path he was taking went from the city and across the Kidron valley, then up the Mount of Olives past the Garden of Gethsemane and down the other side. This is familiar territory for us all in Holy Week, places where dramatic things would take place.
Now though it is just the way to a place of rest. It has been a dramatic day.
Crowds of people, day in, day out, surge across London Bridge, past the Cathedral, going to and from the City and their desks. T S Eliot records this human ‘flow’ in his epic poem ‘The Wasteland’
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
And each of us, like Jesus, look for the rest we need to face the following day.
Lighten our darkness,
we beseech thee, O Lord;
and by thy great mercy
defend us from all perils
and dangers of this night;
for the love of thy only Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.