Thursday, 2 August 2012

Thursday -- positive responsibility

Responsibility.   Frequently the word "responsibility" seems to be a dirty word.  We don't like to take responsibility.   Taking responsibility means making a change.  Yet,  we association responsibility with a negative change.    Today,  remind yourself that responsibility is a positive change.   Taking upon a responsibility means sharing the love of God with others.
And in the Church,  we must learn how to take positive responsibility.  If someone hasn't been in Church for a while.... call them and ask how they are doing.   If someone has a differing view of Christianity,  don't try to correct them.... listen to them and then meditate upon why your understanding of Christianity perhaps is different that someone else's view.
Being responsible means we need to stretch ourselves in God.
So often we hear of ministers and elders not visiting.    This is one of the big responsibilities that a  minister and elder have in the Church.    Today,  go visit someone through either an actual visit or a phone call!  Share the love of Christ today!

In today's reading Pilate had a responsibility.....

Thursday Retreat....
Prayer:   Almighty God,  may there be peace amongst neighbours.   May Your wisdom be with those who lead and preach Your word.  May Your strength be with all of us as we learn more about You this day.  In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

Read St. Matthew 27: 15 – 26

It was an old custom during the Feast, for the Governor to pardon a single prisoner named by the crowd.  Yet Scholars have debated over this sentence for years.  Many Scholars and Biblical Historians can not find this custom listed anywhere in History.  So why does St. Matthew say it was an old custom?

This “custom” was actually a Roman custom.   Some Scholars state that this became a “custom” because Pilate kept making very large mistakes with the people of Israel.  Pilate did not understand the culture nor the religious beliefs of the people he was sent to govern.     He marched into Israel with the Roman Eagle raised high.   Rome was once again dominating Israel.    Bringing in the Roman Eagle was like waving a red flag in front of a bull.   Then Pilate raided the Temple monies in order to build better water works.   Ooops.  

So to appease the people of Israel,  Pilate would release a prisoner named by the crowd.   This was an interesting way for Pilate to perhaps redeem himself in the eyes of the Israelites.

Yet the crowd did not yell to release Jesus as Pilate thought they would.  The crowd decided to yell for Barabbas.

As the yelling of the crowd and court is in session,  Pilate’s wife sends him a message,  “Do not get mixed up in judging this noble man (Jesus).”    Smart Pilate listens to his wife.

But as Pilate is wanting to release Jesus,  the High Priests and Religious Leaders talk the crowd into releasing Barabbas and executing Jesus.

Pilate has learned something of the Jewish faith.  He stands before the crowd and the Religious leaders and washes his hands.   Pilate says, “I am washing my hands of responsibility for this mane’s death.  From now on, it is in your hands.  YOU are judge and jury!”   Washing hands before eating and before offering sacrifices was part of the laws of God’s people.   

Don’t you wonder what the crowd and the Religious Leaders thought when they saw Pilate washing his hands in front of them and then saying the responsibility was now on their shoulders.   

Prayer:   Eternal and Loving God,  release us from our pain and sadness and shortness of vision this day.   Help us so that we can open our eyes to Your glory and Love.  This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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