In the night in which he was betrayed

My companion stretched out his hand against his friends,
    he violated his covenant.
 His speech was smoother than butter,
    yet war was in his heart;
his words were softer than oil,
    yet they were drawn swords.

Psalm 55:20-21

The older I get, the more I understand the element of betrayal in the story leading us to Easter. The political maneuvering, the human weakness and fear–it all makes sense to me in a way it didn’t when I was younger.  I’ve seen more of what people are willing to do–often for very small gain–so the story makes me sad and afraid, and it makes me feel alone.

This is why I marvel that on that night when he was betrayed, Christ prayed that we should become a community.  That our wills and desires, our knowledge and strength should no longer be in conflict, but be unified through the Holy Spirit.

I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one…

John 17: 20-21a

Community feels so far away–impossible–when you’re in the midst of betrayal. The psalmist’s words feel more authentic:

Let death come upon them;
    let them go down to Sheol alive;
    let them go away in terror into their graves. (Ps:55:15)


But that’s not the example we’re given.




One comment

  1. Bob says:

    Excellent! And the foot washing of Peter sets it off.

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