Thursday, 1 August 2013

Thursday - making wise choices

Prayer:  Great God,  we come into Your presence today knowing that You love us beyond our comprehension.    Great God,  we come into Your presence today knowing that out of Your great love for us,  You forgive us and grant us peace.   Amen.

Luke 23:  1-5

Then with one voice,  the assembly rose up and brought accusations about Jesus before Pilate.  The assembly began their list of accusations:

What the Assembly said
In actual fact
Jesus was perverting our nation
Jesus was making the nation think
Jesus was forbidding us to pay taxes to the emperor
Jesus said to pay to God what was God’s  and to the Emperor what belonged to the Emperor
Jesus was calling himself the Messiah and the anointed King
Jesus always asked people, “Whom do you say that I am”?


So why does the assembly bring a list of obvious false accusations about Jesus to Pilate?  Because Jesus was making them stop and inwardly reflect on what they believed.  And they did not like it.   They did not like change.   Through teachings and stories,  Jesus was challenging their very beliefs.   They did not like to think about what they believed. 

Yet,  was there not one of the Assembly that would stand up and say,  “There is something wrong here.  My Spidey senses are tingling!” ?      Apparently not.  Do you find this odd?

While we can poke our fingers at this assembly and tsk tsk that they should not have brought up accusations about Jesus,  are we any different.   How many times do we stand by and listen as our Church makes poor choices and then we don’t do anything?  How many times do we stand by and listen as our community makes poor choices and we don’t do anything?     

Re-read this portion of scripture and  become aware of who it was that questioned the Assembly.  Who was the one person to say they could find no accusation against Jesus?   Pilate.  

Who was this person Pilate?  Pontius Pilate was procurator of Judea from 25 – 27 AD to 35 AD.  Procurator meant he was a Roman Officer who was appointed by the Emperor to look after a geographical area that was under the Emperor’s  reign.   Pilate was appointed as procurator of Judea – a particularly troubled spot.   His tasks were to collect the taxes,  had the power to nominate and depose of  the High Priest,  had exclusive jurisdiction in capital cases,  and had auxiliary Roman troops under his command.  The procurator of Judea was subordinate to the legate of Syria.   Through the writings of Josephus and Philo,  we learn that Pilate was rather a nasty procurator.  He killed people on a whim,  misused temple funds,  brought in the standards of the legions with  images of Caesar secretly by night, and  frequently turned soldiers loose on the crowds. 

Yet in this reading in Luke,  here we have Pilate questioning the accusations of the assembly.

Today  reflect upon what you believe.   What makes you a Christian?  What injustices do you hear about today that as a Christian you must take a stand?    

Prayer:   Almighty God, out of Your great love for us,  provide us with the opportunity to show compassion and mercy upon those we meet this day.  Help us reflect upon our great love for You so that we know what we believe as one living in Your love.    This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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