Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.” Matthew 26:17-25
We arrived in Sitka in the early afternoon yesterday and had a wonderful welcome and reception. It is a place of extraordinary beauty and home to wondrous and generous people. Over the next few days we will get a chance to explore and get to know this community with all it's gifts and challenges. We are excited. And we know the time is at hand to make decisions and plans. We are on the cusp of change and growth and God is inviting us to make new preparations and new plans.
Jesus knew the hour was upon him although most of the disciples thought it was another yearly observance. One disciple knew that a plan was afoot, a plot of intrigue and betrayal fit for a thriller. And yet there was an intimacy among the disciples, a life lived of caring and working side by side, and so their Passover together would make radical changes in God to focus on the opportunity and the ministry ahead, rather than caught up in deceit and intrigue, betrayal and gossip. We can all look to hurts and betrayal, and the pain of present changes, or we can trust God to provide something more than we can even yet understand.
Today, I ask God for clear insight and a quiet heart, that puts aside anxiety and fear, and opens to God's working in our midst. May nothing distract us from our work and our missions - the care, healing and feeding of God's people. May we be ready to forgive and may we let go of all plotting and scheming. May our delight be in the shared meal, the day's end and the work that God has given us to do, today.