The Face of God: Maundy Thursday

The Lost Lamb of Passover

By Ryan Klinck

A decision was made in the heart. An agreement struck between two parties. A great betrayal unfolded, inflicting terrible pain and suffering on the betrayed and the betrayer.

Orual betrayed her dearly beloved sister. Jacob tricked his father and betrayed his trust. Judas betrayed his friend for money. Betrayers. That is what we call them. But, as I re-read the story of the Passover meal and the part where Christ named that someone in the room would betray him, a new thought crossed my mind. Are they betrayers or lost lambs?

Orual’s betrayal was filled with inner turmoil. She flipped back and forth between what love truly meant in her mind. She could not decide. She inquired with others about her situation and asked for their wisdom. She still could not decide. She begged the gods for guidance but there was no answer. She had to decide without knowing if her choice was the right choice.

What about Judas? What went on inside of him in those moments leading up to his betrayal? Did he turn it over in his mind? Did he ask others questions to help him discern? Did he pray to God for guidance? We do not know. The text does not say. But, I wondered to myself, “How did he become so lost in the presence of something so good?”

During the Easter season, we often focus on the Lamb of God, but seldom consider the lost lamb in the fold at that passover table who ate with Jesus. We forget to look beyond the betrayal label and to ask, “who was this person?” Today we remember that while this season can be a holy and sacred time for many of us, there are also lost lambs. This season can be a disorienting and isolating space for those of us who find ourselves lost, rather than reassured.

So for you, the lambs who feel lost at the table...We remember you
For you lambs who have already left the table and are wandering… We seek you
For you lambs who are angry and confused, bitter and afraid,
exhausted and alone… We hold space for you

We take time and space to honor those who are lost by listening to this song by Abigail Washburn, a banjo player and world traveler who is fluent in Mandarin Chinese.

The lyrics are translated below.

Zai na yaoyuan de guxiang
(In that far distant land I call home)
Wo shiluo liao yi ge gulao de meng
(I lost the ancient dream)
Yi ge youshang de meng
(A sorrowful dream)
Zai na yangyu wo de difang
(In that place that raised me)
Wo fenbian buliao muse he chenguang
(I cannot discern the growing shadows of dusk
and the first faint rays of the morning sun)

Wo yanjuanliao chenmo he sixiang
(I've wearied in the silence and searching)
Feng nanchui you zhuanxiang beifang
(Wind blows south and turns again north)
Jianghe ben hai, hai que bu zhang
(River flows to the sea, yet the sea does not rise)
Wo xin manliao choucheng
(My heart is filled with melancholy)
Yu lai you shi qing bu jiuchang
(The rains come, clear skies will follow soon)
Fuzu tianbuman linghun de kewang
(Even fortune and good blessings
Cannot quench the soul's thirst)

Zhihui dangbukai yongsheng de shuangjiang
(Wisdom cannot relieve us our eternal lot)
Wo shi
Yi zhi
Mitu de gaoyang
(I am a lost lamb)
Shei neng ying wo zouchu mimang
(Who will lead me from this haze?)
Nar you wo chongsheng de xiwang
(What will bring me hope again?)
Oh, muyangren ah
(Oh, shepherd)
Ni zai hefang?
(Where are you?)