One of the more painful things that happens to a pastor is someone leaving the church. Now, if someone takes time to speak with you about why, that does help (still painful, though). I confess, when someone leaves the church and just disappears without taking time to explain why–well, let’s just say that’s a mystery that I won’t have solved until heaven. How does one process this, especially as a pastor?
When I read and preached on Acts 1:12-26, I understood that even Jesus understood. After all, one of his apostles left him–Judas. Now, I’m not saying that everyone who leaves a church is a betrayer; I’m not in that lane at all. But the pain that Judas’ death caused not just Jesus but the rest of the disciples was palpable.
But do you remember in the Upper Room when Jesus and his disciples were observing the Passover? Jesus said, “One of you will betray me” (Matthew 26:21). Each of them looked at the other and said, “Lord, is it I?” This small exchange gives us such a wonderful glimpse into the heart of Jesus. Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, but he still showed such love to him that the …read more