Read John 13.21-32

                After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples–the one whom Jesus loved–was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.

                So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.”

                Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

               When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

 

From Rev. Kevin Bowers, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Weirton

It is my prayer that we take this time as a time of reflection. As Christians, we like to go from the glory of Palm Sunday to the glory of Easter and forget there were some terrible days in between. Most of us would like to brush away those terrible days as if they didn’t exist, but they did and do.

The text tells us about Jesus talking about his betrayer, who was Judas. But in reality, it is all of us. We know that Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, but I’ve found that so often I’ve sold him out for far less: In a lie, so I don’t lose face; bypassing my brother or sister in time of need; looking toward my own good, instead of the Body of Christ; harboring vengeance, when I should be offering forgiveness.

The Good News is coming, but honestly the Good News is already here. Jesus Christ loves and forgives us, even when we fall into the trap for which we criticize others. The dark days of Holy Week are part of the story, but they are not the entire story. Thanks be to God!

God of grace and glory, we give thanks for your abundant love and peace.

As they draw us nearer to you and one another in discipleship, may we follow Christ’s example,

despite our doubts, insecurities, and shortcomings.

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