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Read John 13:1-32

from Kenneth Hardway, Wheeling First Christian Church, and Assoc. Regional Minister for Youth and Young Adults

Jesus loved them fully. Jesus’ actions affirm it. We see it in the washing of the feet, the sharing of a meal, and in his willingness to give of himself fully for their sake and the sake of the world.

Even Judas? As much as I tried to gloss over it, this text is about Jesus foretelling his betrayal. Why Judas? Why!?! Was it greed? Power? Was he manipulated? Did God make him do it? The devil? Or is betrayal the world’s natural reaction to pure love? Please re-read that last one.

If we’re honest with ourselves—and today we should—betrayal is a part of our story as well. As much as we try to gloss over it, we are prone to making excuses for every rejection of God we are about (it began with Adam & Eve!).

Yet, Jesus loved them fully. Even Judas. Even us. We are washed in our baptisms. We are washed in the blood. When we come – sinner, yes, but also as guests invited – and eat the bread given to us by Christ, we know we are loved. Fully.   Remember, this is pure love we’re talking about here!

How great is your love for us and all your world, O God.

As our memories once again embrace Christ’s offering of self,

may our lives reflect such love in new ways of living.

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