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6th April 2023

Hi all

Just maybe we have our own experiences of Betrayal . Possibly a friend or family member has stabbed us in the back or perhaps we’ve been let down at work. Such experiences can be brutal and painful. Today is Maundy Thursday , when we remember Jesus’ betrayal by his friend Judas Iscariot. Jesus knew it was coming and yet still shared the Passover meal with Judas. The very next day he would cry from the cross, ‘Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.’ (Luke 23:34)
In Holy Week we’re invited to walk as Jesus walked - the Way of the Cross , not the way of the crowd. In church we currently have some posters up that lead us through the Way of the Cross with a focus on the Persecuted Church. We have brothers and sisters in Christ who have been spied on in their church, or family members who give them away to the authorities because of their faith. Here is a Maundy Thursday prayer from charity  Open Doors  we can pray for them:
Today we think of all those who, like you, have been handed over to their enemies.
We think of Christian girls forced into marriage against their will;
  Of wives or husbands betrayed to the authorities by their spouses;
  Of children handed over by their parents.
We think of churches who meet in secret,
  And who often cannot be sure who they can trust,
Or whether they have spies in their midst.
  Lord, may they remain strong in their faith;
  May they have wisdom in knowing what to share,
  And courage not to give into fear.
And may those who betray them see in their lives
  Your forgiveness and hope.