Friday, May 1, 2015

Barbara Brown Taylor on Judas, law and religion (not atheism and anarchy) bringing Jesus to the cross

One of the many nuggets from my readings in Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter-- this one from Barbara Brown Taylor. I have her Learning to Walk in the Dark-- and am looking forward to reading her thesis there-- that we're too averse to "the dark", given how God often moves in that medium. This blurb moves her book up my reading list. (It's on my dresser now!) 

One of the many things this story tells us is that Jesus was not brought down by atheism and anarchy. He was brought down by law and order allied with religion, which is always a deadly mix. Beware of those who claim to know the mind of God and who are prepared to use force, if necessary, to make others conform. Beware of those who cannot tell God’s will from their own...

No one knows what Judas said. In John’s Gospel he does not say a word, but where he stands says it all. After he has led some 200 Roman soldiers and the temple police to the secret garden where Jesus is praying, Judas stands with the militia. Even when Jesus comes forward to identify himself, Judas does not budge. He is on the side with the weapons and the handcuffs, and he intends to stay there...

I remember being at a retreat once where the leader asked us to think of someone who represented Christ in our lives. When it came time to share our answers, one woman stood up and said, "I had to think hard about that one. I kept thinking, ‘Who is it who told me the truth about myself so clearly that I wanted to kill him for it?"’


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