Holy Week 2020: Wednesday

[Jesus said,] “You are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead…” (Matthew 23:27)

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. (John 13:21-26)

How might we betray you today, Jesus?

Might we eat from your dish on a holy night,
and dash from the meal to enrich ourselves,
not this time with spirit and with truth,
but this time with the thirty coins of death?

Or might we claim the role of shepherds,
offering polluted grace with unwashed hands,
ready to speak in judgement, not forgiveness,
our churches filled with dusty bones?

How might we betray you today, Jesus?
Truly we are an unimaginative people.
In nearly two millennia, we find
no more creative means to turn from you.

The artist of this image is unknown, believed to be 19th century German – Dr. Fischer Kunstauktionen, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17819714.

Holy Week 2019: Wednesday

Judas in a detail from William Blake’s The Last Supper

Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” – John 13:27 NRSV

Take some bread. I’ve dipped it for you.
Take some soul. I’ve offered it to you.

Take some hope. I’ll give you all I have.
Take some wine. I’ll pour it out.

But no, you want my life.
Take my life, then. I’ve given it for you.

Do quickly what you are going to do.

The image is a detail from William Blake’s The Last Supper (1799) – The William Blake Archive, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33553430