Scripture – John 13:21-32
Ever been to a dinner party that got awkward?
The Passover Meal was usually a joyous celebration among family and friends. However, as we read today’s scripture passage, we see that this last one of Jesus’ starts out uncomfortable – with Jesus washing feet – and rapidly evolves to awkward as Jesus starts throwing out words like betrayal, denial, and death.
What’s striking is that Judas is invited to Jesus’ table at all. The one who would turn Jesus over to his persecutors, the one who would sell Jesus out for a wad of cash, the one who would forever change this band of brothers (aka Jesus and the Apostles), was also the one who was welcome at the party, whose feet were washed, whose stomach was filled, and whose soul was covered in prayer.
It’s so easy to read this passage of scripture and look down our noses at Judas. How could he do it? How awful is that? What a rotten person. We’ve all likely had a Judas in our lives; someone who has betrayed us, someone who has hurt us, perhaps someone we still haven’t forgiven. Naturally, we empathize with Jesus. Our hearts break for what is done to him. Yet we forget that Jesus, knowing exactly how Judas would behave, still welcomed, loved, blessed, and served him.
Judas did an awful thing choosing the night instead of the light, yet Christ still gave him incredible grace, even in his turning away. Today, let us reflect on how we, like Judas, have failed at times. How we, too, have chosen the night over the light – in our relationships with God, with others, and even with ourselves. As we reflect on the grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness Jesus still offers Judas at His table, may we remember also that Jesus offers us the same, even in our worst moments.
Most Merciful God, because of your love and compassion for us, we ask that you remind us of your grace, so that we will have eyes to see the kindness and care you offer when we are at our best, as well as when we are at our worst. Give us the strength and the grace to offer that same kind of love, compassion, mercy, kindness, and forgiveness to others, whether we deem them worthy or not. Amen.
Bake a loaf of bread using the recipe on the back of this page, or any other that you prefer. This recipe does not require the use of yeast or bread flour, so you should already have on hand the needed ingredients. You can also save some of this bread to use on Sunday morning when we participate in a virtual Holy Communion together during online worship.
As you bake this bread, remember the loaf of bread that Christ shared with his disciples during the last supper. Think about how hard it must have been for him to share a meal with all of them, knowing that Judas was going to betray him.
No Yeast Bread Recipe
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 1 1⁄3 cup water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil or melted butter
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly flour a pizza stone.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt. Whisk until evenly combined. Add in water and vegetable oil.
- Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients using a spoon until wet ingredients are absorbed. Use your hands to knead dough a few times until it comes together and has a uniform consistency.
- Shape the dough into a round disc that is no more than 1 1⁄2 inches thick. Place dough onto floured pizza stone. Using a sharp knife, score the top of the dough, cutting an “X” that is about 3⁄4 inches deep.
- Place bread into oven and bake 35-40 minutes, or until bread is done. Bread will turn slightly brown on the surface but will remain quite pale and still look undone since this is not a traditional bread. To check for doneness, tap the bottom of the loaf and it should sound hollow.
- Instead of water and oil, you can also make this bread with milk. If using milk, you do not need to add the oil or butter but you will need to add slightly more than 1 1⁄3 cup of liquid.
- Make sure the dough is not more than 1 1/2 inches thick, otherwise it will not bake all the way through.