What is Spy Wednesday?

Spy WednesdayAs you know, the Supreme Executive Committee has been promoting Spy Wednesday as the day for the final battle for the Golden Halo. Several of you have asked us about the name Spy Wednesday. Ever willing to educate and inspire, we are only too happy to oblige.

Spy Wednesday gets its name because this is the day on which Judas betrayed Jesus to the Sanhedrin. Because Judas is thought to be sneaky, his actions conjured up the image of a spy. This is how the Gospel of Luke recounts the events (note: this should in no way be considered an endorsement of Luke in Lent Madness):

Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. They were greatly pleased and agreed to give him money. So he consented and began to look for an opportunity to betray him to them when no crowd was present. (Luke 22:3-6)


The illustration above evocatively depicts this infamous scene. If you go to Holy Eucharist every day of Holy Week, the Gospel readings provide the narrative of Jesus' final days, an ever-quickening story that spins out of control and finally brings us to Good Friday.

It is surely a strange juxtaposition to think about Spy Wednesday and Lent Madness in the same moment. But thewhole point of Lent Madness is to engage us all in an exploration of the ways God's grace has filled the lives of women and men through history and across all cultures. Sure, we've been silly and even competitive about our Lenten exercise. In the end though, we are learning to see in fresh ways how Jesus Christ matters to all humanity. That seems like a good and holy thing to do on Spy Wednesday.


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76 comments on “What is Spy Wednesday?”

  1. Dear SEC, you get the customer service award of the year! A question is asked and BOOM there you are with the answer. Bravo.

    Also, v nice.spyvspy picture

  2. Thanks for the clarification. Here I was giving the SEC all the credit for coming up with a catchy, if somewhat strange, title for the day.

  3. Tomorrow at 6pm, we will observe Tenebrae, the service I consider a pivotal one as events begin to shift and move while the disciples seem unaware of the machinations of one of their number. Each year, I think, "Well, here we go again." and it never ceases to amaze me by the wrench in my whole being as the foot washing on Maundy Thursday after renewal of our ordination vows earlier signals the events spinning totally out of control. Every year...every year. I guess if I ever do become complacent, I'd better get to a mirror and make sure I'm still on this side of the dirt! Spy Wednesday is quite appropriately named.

  4. I remember not only "Spy vs. Spy," but "Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy," when the woman in grey would come in and blow things sky high for the men in black and white. Thanks for the memories, and for the instruction and levity that Lent Madness brings to the season every year. All best and God bless.

  5. I learn something new through LM every day of Lent , excluding withdrawal days of course. Who knew it was Spy Wednesday?

    Thank you again this year to the ExecutiveCommitte for their thoughtiness.

  6. Love Spy Wednesday! Haven't heard that in forever! And Spy v. Spy. Question: Which one is Scott and which one is Tim? Good Cop, Bad Cop perhaps?? I will miss Lent Madness. God's blessings to you all!!!!!

  7. I loved Lent Madness even more this year than last. Maybe by next year the Supreme Exec Cmte can come up with a advance packet for us to get our parishes fired up. I live in God's waiting room (AKA Florida) and it might be a very fun thing for the Lenten Studies where are boning up for our FINALs

  8. Ah hah! I thought it would be the day that the SEC informed us of methods used to uncover voter fraud!

  9. Now I can go to Tenebrae tomorrow and not wonder about this, focus on the service instead.

  10. It's somewhat surprising to learn that many people don't know or connect the dots about the connection between Judas' betrayal and Spy Wednesday. It's also important to remember that there was actually mercy for Judas. When consigned to Purgatory, he awaited Jesus' descent there for the waiting period to receive the kiss that would, in essence, provide forgiveness by the very One whose death was set in motion by his betrayal. The SEC has done a fabulous job in educating LentMadness participants about Easter, before, during, and beyond. We all owe the good Padres Gunn and Schenck and their authors many thanks.

    1. Hi Aleathia, yes I should have figured it out. . .....like I said, Dawn Breaks over Marble Head........:p

  11. You have done an outstanding job this year in educating me about so many people that I know little or nothing about before. I have been inspired by the examples set by many of them. I have "Googled" to read more and gain insights into these people. Thank for all of your efforts to make Lent and engaging, learning experience. I look forward to next year.

  12. Very well stated. Thank you and the whole Executive Supreme Committee (Scott and you) for a fun way to learn some new things about people who have had an impact on this Church we all love. Good job. Thanks again.

  13. I really enjoy the services if Holy Week rather than the entire story on Palm Sunday. Heading to evening Eucharist just a bit. Thanks too for the time the Supreme Committee and others devote to Lent Madness. It is a great way to learn about such interesting saints of the faith.

  14. To be specific!!...Jesus meeting Judas in the underworld and saying let's get the hell out of here......good one!

  15. I'm a first timer - but sure not a last timer
    Lent Madness is addictive!
    Thank you, thank you!

  16. I've been an Episcopalian for 25 years, been a member of five parishes, and I've never heard of Spy Wednesday. The concept must not have drifted this far south. I'm glad to know about it, though!

  17. Shamelessly cutting and pasting from my Facebook page entry for today:

    "As a senior in high school, I was cast in a musical Passion play as Judas. I was very young in my faith, and had to study this very interesting character. Judas had unfortunately become disillusioned with the Jesus he thought he was following. He had tried to shape Christ into his own mold for what a Savior should be and do. Jesus had completely broken every expectation of Judas' - His Kingdom was not one to be expanded by swords and spears, and would not be advanced by pushing back the Roman occupiers. His Kingdom was one of service, of sacrifice, of love and of mercy to the sinner. When Judas betrayed Jesus, he did not see it as a betrayal, but as, sadly, the only way out, for him and for his people. Each night of the Passion play, when playing Judas I would walk up to Jesus and kiss his cheek to betray him, I would be struck by how similar I am to Judas. I try to make Jesus into something I want, and stop receiving Him as He is. I think we all are guilty of this at some time or another."
    So, I have a mile-wide soft spot for Judas. My job is a grade-school Bible teacher, so its fun to teach the kids about SPY WEDNESDAY --- they certainly want to hear about it!!! Thanks, SEC, for all your work to enlighten the current saints about saints past. We are all in your debt!!

  18. Actually, it seems like a good and holy thing to do on any day. Long live the SEC and Lent Madness!

  19. Thank you SEC and Celebrity Bloggers for another outstanding Lent Madness event. I learned a lot from all of you and the people who made comments. Thank you for all your hard work.

  20. Is that a Rocky Horror reference I "spy" in the first line of this post? Hot patootie, bless my soul! (Possibly unintentional. No matter. Carry on. Love Lent Madness. Pay me no mind.)

    1. too funny!

      just sipping coffee and strolling through the replies when your post woke me up (and made me sputter coffee onto the keyboard)

      still, that sort of reference certainly seems within the realm of the SEC

  21. This was my first Lent Madness. Wow. A great way to spend part of my sabbatical. Thanks for doing this.
    BTW, They all should win. Remarkable people. I try.