Reflection: In the midst of the events of the last week, the disciples had really floundered. It started out fine, with excitement really, as they had entered Jerusalem with crowds following along, singing and shouting. But that excitement turned to doubt, questions, confusion, and fear. Jesus was the Messiah, the one who had proclaimed a message they could all believe in, the disciples thought. This Messiah had come to fulfill the scriptures, to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, and to announce that the time had come when God would save the people. But things would not turn out the way they expected. No, this Messiah was going to die a horrible death.
Just as Jesus did not hesitate to share the cup of wine with Judas, who he knew would betray him to the authorities; Jesus invites all of us, no matter our pain, our despair, our failures and faults. Jesus says, come and eat with me for this grace can transform you. And so this night you are invited, just like in that Last Supper, to share the food that nourishes our spirits on the journey. We remember his words that echoed that night to his disciples and that have echoed through the ages, “I am always with you.”
Eat and drink this meal today, especially remembering the death of Jesus. But also know “the rest of the story.” We know that what emerges from death is always life. And so we proclaim this to each other and the world.
Pastor Brice Thomas:
Good evening friends, I'd like to welcome you to Holy Wednesday. And at this time listen to our sacred story which comes from the Gospel of John Chapter 13(21-32).
Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.”
None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night. As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once.
Friends this is our sacred story. It is the word of God for the people of God. Thanks be to God.