Tuesday, March 31
There are few people in the Christian faith as hated as Judas. Appalling in his betrayal and despicable in his guile, his disgraceful behavior seems intrinsically removed from Jesus’s grace.
Yet, it is at the same dinner that Jesus confronts Judas – and Judas adds further lies to his deception and treachery – that Jesus breaks bread and drinks of the cup in the first communion.
Communion is our faith’s coming together, a “practice of unity.” As early as the church in Corinth, Christians have recognized it as a symbol that affirms Jesus as Savior and connects us to one another as Christians. Among Disciples, communion is a central element of the worship tradition – open to all believers and celebrated weekly. Liturgies may shift among congregations. Yet still at the core, bread and cup are a remembrance that we are part of a whole body of believers.
In this way, Matthew’s 26th chapter tells of how one of the Bible’s greatest betrayals and one of its greatest unifiers come together in the same meal. It is an uncomfortable juxtaposition. But of course, Jesus’s teachings are full of those – love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you” (Matthew 5:44). It is hard to imagine at times how loving your enemies translates to action, but at the Passover supper Jesus shows us. Jesus loves his disciples and leaves them with a tradition that will help them remember him – and remember their connection to each other in a face of a deception that could easily have splintered them.
Prayer: Dear Lord, this Lenten season help me remember you by trying to live in your grace, love my enemies, and find unity in this world. Amen.
– Laura and Evan Zasoski