Scripture: John 13:20-35
Key Verse: (21) After saying this, Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.”
Reflection: This is an odd reading for two days after Christmas! We just gathered to sing Silent Night, we opened gifts, we ate a feast with family. And the reading launches us from the birth of baby Jesus in Bethlehem to the table of the last supper. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, taking the form of a servant to care for them, and then called them to follow his example.
Then, Jesus disrupts the cozy dinner table with these words about betrayal. I imagine the disciples were shocked. How could he suggest that one of them would betray him? They ask Jesus “Lord, who is it?” I suspect they were each reeling in introspection about their own loyalty and their own steadfastness in the face of difficulty. Would I be the one to betray him?
Perhaps this reading fits this week very well. We just sang “O come let us adore him” and “let every heart prepare him room” and likely we have already returned to normal life and much of the time are ignoring Jesus. In our own ways, we are betraying him with our attitudes, our priorities, and our choices. We turn aside from his face in the least of these who long for our love. We get caught up in our own busy-ness and our focus quickly shifts to ourselves again. What would it mean to live out our Christmas proclamations this year? How can we remain steadfast and faithful in following Jesus?
Prayer: Loving Lord, help me to follow you wherever you lead me. Help me to love you wherever I encounter you. Help me to live with integrity so that my faith in you shines in my life. Forgive me when I betray you and set me back on the right path. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].