If there was ever a person in need of the Serenity Prayer, it was Judas. Accepting what he could not change, changing what he could, and having the wisdom to know the difference? Not Judas. The catalyst for his actions appears to be Jesus’ response to the waste of an alabaster jar of costly perfume, but Matthew leaves Judas’ motives to our speculation. Perhaps Judas was outraged that Jesus rebuked the disciples rather than the unnamed woman. Perhaps he believed that Jesus needed to be pushed in the direction of doing something to demonstrate that he was the Messiah and that there was no better time than just before Passover to act. It would seem sensible for Jesus, upon being confronted by the chief priests, to reveal himself as the Messiah and then raise up an army to free the people from the oppression of Rome.
I have found that whenever I try to tell God that I need to be in control, I end up discovering how wrong I am. I make plans and God sends me in a different direction—and I can see in hindsight that God had the better plan. When I feel resentful or depressed because things do not go according to my plan, I try to remember the words of Isaiah 55:8-9, that God’s ways are not my ways.
God of abundance, you pour your mercies out with an extravagant love. We do not always understand your plan and often act in ways that are unwise. Grant us the wisdom to know when to act and when to relinquish control. In all things, may your will be done.
Anne Knighten is a senior in the MDiv-Distributive Learning program at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. She and her husband live in Redlands, CA.
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