So, into Lent after a request from a local church to lead their worship with a focus on Judas Iscariot. What questions he confront us with:
- Did he deserve to become the label for all betrayers through history since the crucifixion?
- Are we getting soppy in our contemporary society and trying to rewrite his betrayal into some sort of acceptable ‘well God needed to bring it about’ allrightness?
- Was he a crooked treasurer or a clever revolutionary?
- Was he living out an authentic ‘abandoned Christ’ experience in his own way?
- Was he the favourite disciple who got frustrated at Jesus’ failure to take Jerusalem by storm?
We did it through monologues and music and made sure to end up realising that the worst thing for Judas – and all the other disciples who abandoned Jesus too – was that none of them was at the cross to hear their teacher and friend say: “Father, forgive them …”
We also realised how important it was to be able to sing, as we did, that “for the joys and for the sorrows, the best and worst of times … we have Jesus”.
And finally, we listened to the reality that “there’s a lot of pain but a lot more healing” through God’s outrageous grace.