May 19, 2009

the temptation of judas

The folk who put together the lectionary are tempting me this week.  They are begging me to get bogged down in the intricacies of the Judas Iscariot story - they want me to meander down that path with my congregation dazed and confused by the theological presuppositions required for such a journey.  They have laid the temptation before me, and it is powerful.

But, I have to wonder, how concerned are the people in the pews with the Judas effect?  Will they hear the lessons on Sunday and have their hearts broken by talk of a God who chose one to be destined to betray his Son?  Or will it not even phase them?  Is that version of the story so pervasive as to just be "fact" that should not be questioned?  Or do they wonder if Judas is in heaven?  Do they hope in the future judgment where Judas gets another chance?  Do they ponder the church's position on suicide?

Or is this all the work of the tempter(s) trying to tie me in knots while the true message, the word God has for our congregation this week, gets choked out?  The story of Judas, his life, his death, and the apostles strange need to replace him are interesting, but are they preachably interesting?  It sure is tempting.

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