Proverbs 4:14-19; John 13:30

52 Weeks at the Table – Week 24

Solomon’s wisdom came at his request; but he was wise enough to ask for it – and wise enough to listen to his father David when the king advised him to seek it (Proverbs 4:1-13). The words of wisdom that he recalls from his father are not to follow evil people because they cannot sleep until they have caused someone else to fall into their darkness. In a poetic – and prophetic – phrase, he is taught: “They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.”

Jesus was betrayed by a follower who shared His bread of unity and His cup of blessing. John’s gospel (13:30) says it briefly: “As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.” At His abduction, Luke (22:53) quotes Jesus noting ruefully “Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour — when darkness reigns.”

Forgiving God, we remember with this bread of unity Your Son’s body, pummeled and beaten when He was taken in the garden, perhaps not even an hour after the Passover meal. We remember the Light of the World snuffed out, and a darkness that enveloped the earth. We know that there is no intrinsic power in these emblems that prevent us from sinning; no magic in this matzoh; no wizardry in the wine, for we’ve read that as soon as Judas had taken it, he went out and betrayed his Lord. Forgiving God, bring us together in the sharing of this bread, that Your Spirit and the brotherhood we find in it will help keep us accountable and keep us from falling into darkness. Through Christ we ask: Amen.

Lord of mercy, giving rest to the weary, we approach You weary of sin and stumbling under its heavy guilt. May this cup of blessing refresh us, purging from us a thirst for self and for violence to others and for the cover of darkness – because it is to us the blood of Your Son Jesus, washing the burden of it all from our hearts. Father, give us the light of His wisdom always through His Spirit, guiding us into all truth. We beg this in the name of Jesus: Amen.

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