Potsdam United Methodist Church
Where we let Jesus shine! Where we invite, love and nurture ALL!
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Pastor Rev. Brooke Newell
Secretary Donna McDonald
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Betrayed - By Us

Listen to the Sermon or the Entire Service

April 2:

Betrayed - By Us
Call:       1 Corinthians 11: 23-26
Reading:    Communion Invitation etc.
Text:       Mark 14: 17-26  (also 14: 10-11)
Closing:    Isaiah 2a, 3a

                Betrayed By Us

One Thursday evening,
    Jesus gathered with his disciples and his friends.

He had known many of them for three years
    And during that time they had
        Walked together, eaten together, and worked together
    They had
        Sought to please God together
    They had
Prayed together.

On this particular Thursday night
    They had gathered to share a meal together.

It was not just any meal that prompted their get-to-gether.

It was a meal in which they were to remember
what God had done for them
many, many years before.

What they remembered was a time when good came out of tragedy
    Tragedy that should have been unnecessary
    If human beings had had paid more attention to
        Justice, fairness, and righteousness
    Instead of selfishness, greed, and power.
The meal that Jesus and his friends shared was the Passover
    Which recalled the time that God freed the Hebrews
    By sending death to innocent Egyptian children
        While passing over those
Who put lamb's blood over their doors
To identify themselves as Abraham's descendents

[pause]

This is a Thursday evening,
    You and I are gathered as fellow disciples and friends.

I have known many of you for well more than three years
    And during that time we have
        Walked together, eaten together, and worked together
    We have
        Sought to please God together
    We have
Prayed together.

On this particular Thursday night
    We too have gathered to share a meal together.

It is not just any meal that has prompted our get-to-gether.

It is a meal in which we are to remember
what God did for us
many, many years ago.

We too remember a time when good came out of tragedy
    Tragedy that should have been unnecessary
    If human beings had had paid more attention to
        Justice, fairness, and righteousness
    Instead of
selfishness, greed, and power.
The meal that we share is called Communion or the Eucharist
    Which recalls the time that God freed us
    Through the cruel and shameful death of Jesus himself
God's son
        The one who hosted the meal centuries before
        And the one who was for us
The lamb whose blood was shed
Even as he was as innocent as the Egyptian children

Ironically,         that blood was drawn from him
    By leaders of Abraham's descendents.

And what makes it even more of a tragedy
    Is that he was turned over to those leaders
        By the betrayal of one of his own
            A friend and a disciple.

The back ground for our text is a few verses earlier in Mark's gospel
        [14: 10-11]

WHY?

Why did Judas approach the chief priests?

Scholars have argued over this for centuries
    And will continue to argue over this for many centuries to come.

He might have been jealous
    Of either Jesus
    Or of Peter, James, and John
        Who were clearly particularly special to Jesus.

He might have been disillusioned.
    For Jesus taught love rather than conquest
    And therefore may not have fit into
        Judas' understanding of what the messiah would be.

He might have had such a need for money
    That he lost his perspective
    And could not resist the temptation to get what he "needed"
[Remember:  one of the gospels suggests that he had been stealing from the treasury.]

Whatever his motivation,
    He betrayed Jesus
And as our story goes,
    Jesus knew it.

This is how Mark tells us about that Thursday night meal
    That we recall today
    Even though it took place a couple of thousand years ago

[Mark 14: 17-26]

I assure you.
I know.
I am certain
    That one of you gathered as part of my family
will betray me.

This hurts us.
    Every time I read or hear this story
    I hurt for Jesus.

If it hurts me, it certainly must have hurt Jesus.


The betrayal by one of his own
    Must have hurt every bit as much as the nails that fastened him to the cross.

In our communion ritual we hear him say,
    "Do this in remembrance of me"
or, as the scripture that called us this evening put it,
    "Do this to remember me."

One of the things I remember    is the hurt that Judas caused him.

But I cannot help but also remember
that you and I have caused him hurt as well.
        Even many years after that Thursday night meal.

For you and I have often given
    Money, power, social standing and the like
Priority over
    Love, forgiveness, sharing, and worshipping

When I remember this I relate to the past
And wonder what unnecessary tragedy might come from
    Our failure to pay more attention to
        Justice, fairness, and righteousness

And yet, I am still hopeful that
    By remembering today
that Thursday night of long ago
    We will shape up and start paying more attention to
        What we should be paying attention to.

I pray that by remembering him tonight
Jesus won't continue to be betrayed
    By us
    That is, by you and me.