Good Friday that dark and paradoxical day for Christians is also a day about betrayals – the betrayal by Judas; the betrayal of the disciples who could not keep awake; the betrayal of the crowd who supported Jesus; the betrayal of those in power; the betrayal of the so called justice system, and, most movingly the betrayal of Peter – the close friend.
Perhaps when it is a big deal and we are asked to assert our faith in front of some important person it is almost easier, it becomes the grand gesture, we are at that moment very important so perhaps it is almost like an ego boost to state our loyalty and belief. The poignancy of the story of Peter is that his betrayal of Jesus was the very opposite, it was to the servant girl – see the account in Luke’s gospel. In other words it was a side show and an everyday betrayal and one that I for one know only too well.
Trying to meditate last night after a Maundy Thursday service my mind kept wandering and many minutes passed before I realised I had lost my attention – it happened again and again and each time was a little betrayal – but there are so many little betrayals. ‘So could you not stay awake with me one hour?’
The canticle A Song of the Redeemer puts it like this:
‘Why are your robes all red, O Lord, and your garments like theirs who tread the winepress?
I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me.’
There is some comfort that in religious houses across the world there will have been those who stayed awake to keep watch throughout last night so he was not alone….