Tag Archives: Judas

My song is love unknown

Reading
John 12.1–11

My song is love unknown,
my Saviour’s love to me,
love to the loveless shown,
that they might lovely be.
O who am I
that for my sake
my Lord should take
frail flesh, and die?

When Jesus speaks to Mary’s sister Martha in John chapter 11, he says

I am the resurrection and the life.

Now, Mary is preparing ’the Resurrection and the Life’ for his death.

Without a doubt, Mary of Bethany is one of the most interesting characters in the whole Bible. She only gets three mentions: once in Luke’s Gospel, twice in John’s. Each time, she appears with her sister, Martha. Each time, she is found at the feet of Jesus. Each time, she touches Jesus deeply.

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Caught up in something greater—Lent 5, Year C (17 March 2013)

Readings
Isaiah 43.16–21
Philippians 3.4b–14
John 12.1–8

Christ is among us—

God is doing a new thing!

Another Sunday in Lent, another wonderful passage from Second Isaiah, who wrote when the people were in Babylon, forced into exile for life away from Jerusalem, where their homes were demolished or in ashes.

Their life as a nation was over. The Babylonian armies had conquered. The Babylonian gods had won. It was in this setting that Psalm 137 was written:

How could we sing the Lord’s song

in a foreign land?

If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

let my right hand wither!

Isaiah’s message cut across this sense of doom.

I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

What new thing was God about to do? This is how Isaiah puts it:

I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.

Much earlier, God had brought the people out of slavery in Egypt. Then, God had made a dry path through the waters of the Red Sea; now, God would make a river to follow through the dry paths of the wilderness.

God was doing a new thing, and drawing them into a new story. No longer would they only be people delivered from slavery in Egypt—they would also be people delivered from exile in Babylon.

God was doing a new thing; God has been doing new things ever since.

The story of Mary of Bethany is the story of a woman who found that God was indeed doing a new thing.  Continue reading

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Fifth Sunday of Easter (Easter 5)

Love one another

Reading
John 13.31-35

In today’s Gospel Reading, Jesus says,

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.

The ‘new commandment’ is ‘Love one another.’ That’s nice, isn’t it? That’s really lovely.

But let’s set the scene. Jesus and the disciples are gathered together, but not at any old time; it’s the night before the crucifixion. I say, ‘Jesus and the disciples’ are there, but there is one who is missing. Judas. He has gone out. What we read is this:

Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor.

We know why Judas has gone out. But let’s imagine we’re hearing this story for the first time. Sometimes, we can learn new things that way. Continue reading

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