I hit a wall of technical difficulties yesterday that prevented me from my daily Holy Week email. I was so mad at myself last night! But, it is holy Week, so I forgave myself.
And today is Maundy Thursday. Yesterday with the youth we looked at the passage in John 13 when Jesus clues the other followers in on Judas’ impending betrayal. Jesus does this at the meal which we commemorate today.
You know what gets me? Jesus loved Judas so much… and I don’t think he ever stopped loving him. Jesus must have known that Judas would one day betray him long before this dinner. Yet Jesus never drove Judas away from him. In fact, Jesus also knew that Peter would soon deny him, but he kept Peter around, too! What about poor Thomas? We’ve castigated him through the centuries as “Doubting Thomas” as if he were the only one having problems figuring out that maelstrom of events. Jesus moved through a world of betrayal.
And Jesus didn’t let the betrayals slow him down one step. He didn’t stop loving or serving or keeping to his course. Can we live like that? I know I want to…
But I also know I sometimes don’t. In truth I’ve realized lately that I have been bound by the recent, past betrayals and perceived betrayals of my life and ministry. I have been bound and unable to fully engage new friendships and trust some very trustworthy folks. I can’t live like that… it’s neither healthy nor godly.
So as I sit and imagine Jesus around the table with broken, betraying, weak folks who are just like me in their faults and sins, I’m determined to leave behind some of the damage of this life I’ve seen. I’m determined to live more like my Christ. My list of folks who have betrayed my trust is no where near as long as Jesus’ list would be, and I have no idea how it compares to yours… but I know that life must be freed all such entanglements to continue to shine and sing.
Speaking of singing, today’s Psalm is chapter 69… let’s share verses 1-4, 13-16:
1 Save me, O God,
for the floodwaters are up to my neck.
2 Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire;
I can’t find a foothold.
I am in deep water,
and the floods overwhelm me.
3 I am exhausted from crying for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
waiting for my God to help me.
4 Those who hate me without cause
outnumber the hairs on my head.
Many enemies try to destroy me with lies,
demanding that I give back what I didn’t steal…
13 But I keep praying to you, Lord,
hoping this time you will show me favor.
In your unfailing love, O God,
answer my prayer with your sure salvation.
14 Rescue me from the mud;
don’t let me sink any deeper!
Save me from those who hate me,
and pull me from these deep waters.
15 Don’t let the floods overwhelm me,
or the deep waters swallow me,
or the pit of death devour me.
16 Answer my prayers, O Lord,
for your unfailing love is wonderful.
From beside you at the table of Christ,
I wish you peace.