Friends and Swords

“and me” — Meg
“and you” — Ezekiel

We are teaching MrE to pray more specifically. We guide and ask him to repeat after me. Sometimes prayers for help (“please help Kerianna”). Yesterday we thanked God for family and went through the list: Dad, Mom, I, P, D, and me. We expected Ezekiel to keep repeating, but he switched “and me” to “and you”, so Mom got double thanksgiving. (Appropriate!)

This is an important moment to pray.

We are a culture in transition, one in the midst of the fight. The middle is shrinking. The phrase “All is fair in love and war” has redefined love to include politics. And our swords are drawn, ready to attack anyone who doesn’t agree.

The church is no different. A friend and mentor, a retired pastor, who was recruited back into the pulpit, told me that today is the most difficult moment he has experienced as a pastor. So we pray.

As the calendar moves toward Christmas, our Bible Study has been at the end of Matthew. With the sun setting on Jesus’ ministry, swords are drawn. Of course Jesus has a commentary on the sword. But that was not what caught my attention. Instead, it was Jesus’ reaction to Judas’ kiss.

Surrounded by people with swords, Jesus knows his betrayer, but calls him, “Friend.”

In the moment Jesus should be concerned about himself, he is instead concerned about you. His betrayer. And by His example we learn the words to pray. Rather than seeking my own comfort and blessing, I pray it for you.

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