18:1After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons.4Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?”5They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they stepped back and fell to the ground. 7Again he asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8Jesus answered, ”I told you that I am he. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” 9This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken, “I did not lose a single one of those whom you gave me.” 10Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it, struck the high priest’s slave, and cut off his right ear. The slave’s name was Malchus. 11Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
12So the soldiers, their officer, and the Jewish police arrested Jesus and bound him. 13First they took him to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it was better to have one person die for the people.
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying attention to the deep breath.
- Jesus is betrayed at a familiar place, one that Judas knew well.
- How have you betrayed Jesus at a familiar place, one that you knew well?
- How did you recognize your betrayal?
- Who was with you, encouraging you?
- Would it have been different if you were alone?
- What do you notice about the situation as you look back?
- Where do you turn for forgiveness?
- If you are still in need of forgiveness, turn toward Christ now, the one who has already drank from the cup the father gave him, the one who has already taken your sin.
- Be cleansed and hear the good news of forgiveness and reconciliation.
- It is GOOD Friday.
- Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
- Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Friday, April 10, 2020, Good Friday (Year A)
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings. (c) 2020 The Rev. Dr. Lil Smith, DASD
Rev. Dr. Lil Smith is a trained spiritual director, supervisor, and co-founder of Retreat House Spirituality Center in Richardson, TX. Upon completion of her spiritual direction training, Lil began Praying the Lectionary in 2011 as a spiritual practice for her morning prayer time. Instead of reading about someone else’s experience of God, it was important for her to create a prayer practice that would encourage felt sense experience of the Holy emerging from within. It dawned on her others might enjoy the practice, as well. So she began to share them on this site.
As you experience the practice of Praying the Lectionary, adopt a loving, caring, and compassionate stance. If the end of your prayer and meditation time is not pointing to love and hope, there is more work to do. Keep wrestling. God is faithful to your journey. Love and hope will emerge. Be gentle with yourself and befriend any judgment that arises in you.