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Holy Week | Postcards

As we move deeper into Holy Week, today’s digital postcard taps into deeper harms and betrayals as well. For all the beauty of the places we are traveling on Spring Break this week, and all the beauty of the United States, of the world in which we live, so many scars remain from past injustice and so many wound are open to display present harms as well.

Tonight my community of faith shared the supper and washed one another’s feet. I miss that service. It is a beautiful ritual of love and humility, shared each year.

In John’s account of the last supper, Jesus became troubled and said, “One of you will betray me.” He may as well have said, “Every one of you will betray me.” When the beloved disciple asked “Who is it?” Jesus replied “the one to whom I give this bread.”

Jesus has given himself – his body, the bread of life – to every one of us. And every one of us has betrayed that gift. The scars of that betrayal and fresh wounds, too, are in evidence everywhere – personally and socially. And this day, this holy week, we are called to look honestly at the betrayals as well as the beauties of life.

Today as we strolled along taking in the beauty of the ocean, the ships, the birds, and the beaches, I was drawn up short by a historical marker. it told one of hundreds of horrific stories from the greatest of human betrayals . . . when Europeans, Americans and others stole the people of Africa – often justifying their actions with scripture – and caused for these sisters and brothers loss of land and home and family, diseases, social displacement, denial of religion and way of life, inhumane treatment, enslavement, suffering of all kinds, and death. It is one of the wounds of US history and the Christian religion that still cries out for redress, repair, forgiveness and reconciliation. (You can read the full text of the historical marker here.)

unholy betrayal demands redress, repair, reconciliation