GPS for the week of March 29, 2020
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Entering the Passion of Jesus
“The Last Supper: Risking The Loss Of Friends”
Peter and Judas. Both were disciples. Both knew Jesus intimately, and yet each responded to Jesus at the Last Supper in radically different ways. Their lives took radically different turns. One friend would be lost and then regained. The other friend would be lost forever.
Prayer: God of the Table, you invite us to sit with you as you take the role of host and servant. You share the bread and cup with a table full of people who are often overcome by their fears. You kneel to wash the feet of those who misunderstand you. You kneel to wash the feet of those who will deny you. We know the power of a meal among loved ones, and we know the challenge of living in love. Be present in our midst, Good Lord. Amen.
Monday 3.30 “The Passover” Exodus 12: 21-28
This night, this moment, became the crucial turning moment for the Jewish people as God was working for their liberation. What was the oppression in slavery that you think concerned God? What was God doing to address it? What was the purpose of the Passover sacrifice?
Tuesday 3.31 “Luke’s Version” Luke 22: 14-27
We know this ritual as “communion” and the “Lord’s Supper”. The disciples that night knew it as supper and the Passover meal. It was a time to remember the story of the Jewish people fleeing slavery in Egypt. How did this meal focus the disciples?
Wednesday 4.1 “John’s Version” John 13: 1-16
Odd. Very odd. This version of the Last Supper has no mention at all of the specific Passover meal. There is no bread. There is no cup. Instead, there is a basin of water and a towel as Jesus washes the feet of his disciples.
Thursday 4.2 “Peter in the Courtyard” Mark 14: 66-72
After the meal, everything went bad. And in the middle of the night Peter found himself alone in the middle of a crowd. In confusion he denied Jesus three times. How is it in your life that you have ever betrayed Christ?
Friday 4.3 “Judas with the Priests”
Matthew 26: 14-16
All four Gospels tell us that Judas betrayed Jesus, and all four Gospels locate Judas at the Last Supper. As we move from mark to Matthew to Luke to John, Judas looks increasingly evil. It’s impossible to know which version is most closely accurate, but what we do know on this night is that Jesus lost one of his closest friends forever.
Saturday 4.4 “Redemption? Forgiveness?” Psalm 51
This Psalm is actually all about the process of redemption and forgiveness for King David after his moral downfall, but when we use it as a lens to look at Peter and Judas it takes on new meaning. Shortly after betraying Jesus, Judas took his own life. Eventually after betraying Jesus, Peter was redeemed and forgiven by Jesus. Radically different stories with radically different endings. Jesus risked losing friends. That risk was so real. In this week’s readings and studies, what has been something that was new to you? What is something that really affected you?