Betrayal, a prayer for the brokenhearted

Cw: Abuse, victimization, implied sexualization

God,

One of my kids former teachers

betrayed the school,

(himself, his family, his students, and most of all his fellow teachers)

and got arrested today–

and my eldest,

with tears streaming down his face

said he couldn’t believe it.

And I had to say, I wouldn’t lie to you about this

and sometimes people make bad choices

and sometimes those people are especially nice to hide their faultiness.

And I thought about, how, almost every place I lived,

there was an adult lurking, who wasn’t safe.

Was this how it felt Jesus?

When Judas betrayed you?

Even though you knew it was coming,

surely at some point he was a true disciple,

Surely you really wanted him to be your real friend Jesus.

And so I wrapped my child in my arms, and I told him:

The bad doesn’t take away the bad one does, but the bad doesn’t take away the good either.

And that we hoped he would get the help he needed, to truly and actually change.

And I imagine that you do the same.

Wrapping us in your arms,

coaxing us towards love, and grace, and forgiveness.

Because, sometimes we feel that brokenness all too sharply.

Please be with us when we betray or are betrayed we pray.

Because Christians and leaders and mentors are not perfect,

and it’s so important to have people we can trust in our lives.

When we are brokenhearted wrap us in your arms,

and remind us of that we are loved and worthy of love, we pray.

Amen.

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Not I, Lord

Jesus, how did it feel when you predicted your death, and the disciples said this can never happen?

How about at the table, when you were eating and drinking with your beloved, and warned that betrayal and denial would follow and each disciples said, “Not I Lord.” It can’t be me.

God, how are we so willfully blind? To the racism that is etched into our very DNA, to the violence that happens against school children who can’t pay for lunch.

How is it that we can’t believe that violence is coming… until it does. Storming the capital with Nazi flags of hate and signs that somehow proclaim “Jesus Saves.”

And we disarm people of color, and hide our children under their desks, but refuse to see violence as systematic and problematic.

How is such denial possible?

Did Jesus have a part of him that was in denial, that his people would turn on him…until the disciples fell asleep at the wheel, and then fell asleep again, and again.

Was he holding out hope that Judas would change his mind?

We feel betrayed, but the evil was there all along, like Herod.

Lead us not into temptation to say “this is not America”

America was always this way: violent and racist and ignorant, but pray for us God, because we keep hoping and proclaiming, like the disciples “Not I Lord.”

Open our mouths to say “this is not God, this is not foreordained” help us to take the responsibility that is needed to make the change.

It’s an Epiphany: A Realization

It’s an Apocalypse: An Unveiling that changes all of life.

Please let this be Apocryphal, please let this be an Epiphany.

Help me to shut my mouth when I’m tempted to say “Not I, Lord” or “Not All of Us” or “Everything Will Turn Out Okay.”

Chafe my hands into the work that needs to be done, enfold my mind with the empathy to Listen, Prod my feet to to do the walking.

Set me to work God, set me to do the work:

To protect the vulnerable, to tell the truth, to face the hatred, to love and serve

and to serve and to love.

Change my words to say “Here I am, Lord” I pray.

Amen

Feel free to use/adapt/share with credit to Pastor Katy Stenta

Shannon A Thompson

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