Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of September 23, 2012
- 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.'"
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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