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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 23, 2012

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 23, 2012 ********** As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 23, 2012
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 23, 2012


      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
      Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
      for forwarding this to your friends.

      A sly plan to kill Jesus

      "When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he
      said to his disciples, 'You know that after two days
      the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be
      handed over to be crucified.' Then the chief priests
      and the elders of the people gathered in the palace of
      the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and they
      conspired to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him.
      But they said, 'Not during the festival, or there
      may be a riot among the people.'"
      Matthew 26:1-5

      Over the years of his public ministry, Jesus had made
      a number of deadly enemies within the leadership of
      his own birth religion. His opponents had had enough
      of his message, and with stealth and malice they
      gathered to make an evil plan to entrap and arrest
      him. Their intent was deadly. His enemies would not
      rest until he was dead and buried. Jesus was clearly
      in harm's way.

      But the public loved and respected Jesus. He had
      healed, blessed, preached, and taught life-nourishing
      insights about God and a new way of spiritual living
      with real life applications. His miracles had convinced
      huge crowds that Jesus had a very special relationship
      with God. Whatever premeditated murderous plan was
      being hatched, it had to be done carefully or the
      religious leaders in power would have a riot on their
      hands. If that happened, the occupying Roman authorities
      would quickly become involved. So the religious leaders
      carefully and perhaps even prayerfully searched quietly
      for an effective way to eliminate Jesus. He had to be
      terminated in such a way that the public would be on the
      religious officials' side.

      History has a tendency to repeat itself if we fail to
      learn from the past. Consciously or unconsciously,
      those in positions of religious leadership and influence
      often have the best of intentions as they passionately
      defend and protect their long standing, cherished
      religious interpretations of sacred texts and their
      traditional ways of life from perceived real or potential
      apostasy and heresy. I have seen deeply devout people
      capable of verbal and physical violence when it comes to
      defending their most cherished belief systems. We can
      become so involved in protecting and defending our faith
      that we might fail to recognize new and progressive
      revelations from God.

      Yes, we do have a holy responsibility to hold those in
      ecclesiastical power to a standard of accountability
      locally and globally. It is spiritually healthy to
      examine contemporary issues and respectfully question
      and challenge certain stances held in our religious
      hierarchies. It is all too possible for religious
      institutions to become so bureaucratic and politically
      motivated, that they fail to discern fresh new movements
      of the Holy Spirit in our midst. We must always remember
      that people in positions of religious authority killed

      Ultimately we are responsible for how we individually
      respond to or stifle the spirit of Christ within others
      and ourselves. Jesus comes to us disguised in many forms.
      He might come to us in gay apparel or as a homeless person.
      Jesus is often revealed through those people who are often
      neglected, despised, overlooked, and ignored. We must
      remember God is bigger and more compassionate than we can
      ever imagine. Prayerfully consider how our words, actions,
      and attitudes kill or give life to the spirit of Christ in

      God, give us courage for moments of honest and fearless
      self-examination today as we consider our cherished ways
      of believing and thinking about you and others. Bless us
      with a deeper understanding of the message of Jesus Christ.
      We also pray for those in religious leadership around the
      world. Help us hold them accountable to the life-giving,
      dignifying spirit of Jesus. Amen.

      Grace and peace,
      Chi Rho Press

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