+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Opening (A Collect for Peace – Tuesday)
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Morning Reading – Matthew 27:1-10 (NLT)
Matthew 27:1-10 New Living Translation (NLT)
Judas Hangs Himself
Very early in the morning the leading priests and the elders of the people met again to lay plans for putting Jesus to death. Then they bound him, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”
“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”
Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.
The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.” After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood. This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says,
“They took the thirty pieces of silver—
the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel,
and purchased the potter’s field,
as the Lord directed.”
“I have betrayed an innocent man.”
– Matthew 27:4 –
It’s hard to know what was going on in Judas’ mind from beginning to end. However, when he realizes that his betrayal has condemned Jesus to death he experiences remorse – “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” But it’s too little, too late both for him and for Jesus.
Two of Jesus’ followers have denied him:
- Peter has sinned by words, under the pressure of the moment, and for him there can be a new start.
- Judas has sinned in deed, in a premeditated, settled course of action which has now borne fruit which, too late, he wishes he could have undone.
Questions for consideration:
- Have you ever experienced remorse for sinning by something you said in the heat of the moment? Were you able to make a fresh start? Please explain.
- Have you ever experienced remorse for sinning by something you did that couldn’t be undone? How was it resolved? Please explain.
Morning Prayer: Of Repentance –
+ Jesus, Friend of sinners, You bring hope in our despair…. Lord, have mercy.
+ Jesus, Healer of the sick, You give strength in our weakness…. Lord, have mercy.
+ Jesus, Destroyer of evil, You bring life in our dying…. Lord, have mercy.
God of our hidden depths, in honest regret, in trust,
we confess our faults and recognize our frailty.
+ Show us that we have been forgiven, so that we may forgive….
+ Touch our wounds with Your healing, so that we may be people who heal…
+ Help us to be at peace with ourselves, so that we may become makers of peace with others….
through Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Amen.
“Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)” – Koine
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen