The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.

Maundy Thursday

You may recall from Sunday that I love Palm Sunday. Well, I also love Maundy Thursday. [Footbaths and all the stuff that God is really into..yeah!] Brad Neely aside, [google it] today is a great day. Today, Jesus sits down for a final meal wit his best friends. If I knew I was about to die, that is exactly what I would do. Tears are filling my eyes as I imagine sitting around my parents' dining room table, eating and drinking and laughing with those I hold dearest. I just made a list, because I am super into torturing myself with shit like this, and I'd have 19 people instead of 12 but that is SO FAR from the point that we are just going to move on like I didn't put that in your head. Okay, cool. Tonight, I'd be sitting with them, assuring them that there were necessary things that would happen in the coming days, and that they would have each other, afterward. And that I would never really leave them.

Next, I think about who is my Judas. [Hear me out.] When you approach it this way, you think much better of Judas. [Hear me out.] Judas sets everything in motion. Without the kiss of Judas, the events of the three days do not take place. What if, instead of Judas' actions betraying the teacher he knew and loved, what if Judas was Jesus' most trusted disciple? What if Jesus knew he could count on Judas? What if Jesus knew he could rely on Judas to accept his instruction without protest? What if Jesus knew that Judas could be trusted to appear untrustworthy?  What if Judas and Jesus had a private agreement that this would happen?

What if Judas is the Beloved Disciple?

When you hear the story of Judas the betrayer of your Lord, step back. Could it be that Judas did what needed to be done and those who told the story did not know the whole narrative? The other eyewitnesses who became the sources for the Gospel writers could not have been privy to this most delicate of relationships. In order to explain this unexplainable behavior, they've labeled Judas' kiss of peace [kiss goodbye?] as kiss of ultimate betrayal, kiss of death. Could Jesus' words of impending betrayal around the table at the Last Supper be the gospel authors' attempts to explain what they have been unable to understand?

Could it be, therefore, not that Jesus knew ahead of time that Judas would betray him, but rather that Jesus entrusted the perfect timing of his arrest -- this most definitive moment of his life -- to his dearest friend, Judas, secretly, ahead of time?

Wouldn't you choose your dearest friend to control your moment of impending death?

Wouldn't you?

Good Friday

Holy Wednesday