Thursday, August 27, 2009
Is it I?
And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?”Mark 14:17-19
Betrayal is one of the hardest of human behaviors to bear. Rarely does anyone go to jail for betraying a friend or a colleague. Often times, the betrayer gets what they want, like a new job, a promotion, or a sense of control where it was lacking. The victim usually gets destroyed, personally and professionally. They lose the ability to trust anyone. Some people justify their betrayals with reasons like -"it was for the best" and "they were holding us back anyway". People are often ready to betray another for the promise of a few dollars or for fear of failure. Betrayal breaks hearts and relationships. Little pieces of loving lives scattered everywhere. For us humans, we know betrayal happens but we cannot predict who will hurt us this way. Jesus, on the other hand, knows all too well who has set him up to die. And yet he refuses to turn his back on them, refuses to out them, and refuses to take his love away from the betrayer.
I am heartened this morning to know that people who turn their backs on Jesus are still loved. We have all walked away from God time to time. We have been lured by quick money or promotion. We have failed to pray or to follow where Jesus leads. And yet, so loving is Jesus, that he hold them in prayer, keeps them together despite the hurt, and loves them beyond their faults. I know my faults all too well and to know Christ loves me with all my faults, all of my betrayals, all of the selfish shallow behavior - well, this is good news. Jesus loves each of us despite our wretched and hurtful behavior. Despite our betrayals.
Today, I want to pray for those who have betrayed me in some way and ask God's forgiveness for the times when I have betrayed others. How lovely to know this morning, that with all the burdens of shortcomings and failure, God loves me through and beyond my worse mistakes. And if God can love like that, then I can at least try to live beyond the petty hurts and betrayals that I have suffered. I want to learn to love, with Christ's help, beyond the wretched behavior to see others with the eyes of God.