This Week in Church: Betrayal and Playing Small Roles in Big Stories

Welcome to the series wherein I share my take-aways from church. The things that, I think, are beneficial to all of us to know or think about, whether or not we believe in any church-related things.

I think that church can teach things that are beneficial to everyone, whether or not we believe in church-related things.

This week in church we talked about betrayal.

When people think about betrayal in the story of the crucifixion, they mostly talk about Judas turning Jesus in. But there was also Peter: the one who claimed he would lay down his life to save Jesus and then denied he even knew him when the opportunity came--a quieter betrayal, but a powerful one nonetheless. Peter denied Jesus three times, and then the next morning, when a newly arisen Jesus came to him, he was given the opportunity to cover each of those denials with a statement of love. (Jesus asked him three times, "Do you love me?")

This reminds me that we are all betrayers, in one way or another. Some betrayals may carry a lot more weight than others, but it's something we all do. And while we can't undo the betrayal, we may be able to show that's not all we are. We might be able to match that betrayal with acts of love.

(We also read Luci Shaw's lovely poem "Judas, Peter" and you can too.)

This week in church we talked about big and small parts.

Sometimes we are key players in an event or story, and sometimes we have a tiny, supporting role. Our ability to play great parts without pride and little parts without shame depends on how devoted we are to the greater story we are taking part in. If it's about the story, then we are happy to give ourselves to it, no matter the size or stature of the role. If it's about our own glory, then that role begins to really matter.

This reminds me of two things: one is my earlier post about being exceptional. The other is an instructor I once had in an arts leadership course who said, "It's amazing what can get done when you don't care who gets the credit."

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