Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 6, 2013
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of October 6, 2013
Fellowship Sunday, the 45th Anniversary of the founding of the Metropolitan Community Churches
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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
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"Now at the festival the governor was accustomed torelease a prisoner for the crowd, anyone whom theywanted.������������ At that time they had a notorious prisoner,called Jesus Barabbas.������������ So after they had gathered,Pilate said to them, 'Whom do you want me to releasefor you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called theMessiah?'������������ For he realized that it was out of jealousythat they had handed him over."
As a politician, Pilate was squirming with discomfort.������������ He was at best a weak leader and too fearful to serve justice.������������ He caved in to the pressure of the rabidly hostile Jewish religious leaders determined to see Jesus dead and buried.������������ Rather than assert his legal authority as governor, Pilate decided to not make a decision and let a gathering crowd get him off the hook.������������ According to the Jewish religious custom with this feast day, the gathered crowds annually choose the release of a prisoner.������������ Pilate offered the crowd a decision to release Jesus Christ or Barabbas, a notorious prisoner.
Perhaps Pilate rationalized his inept leadership decision.������������ Who in their right mind would chose Barabbas over Jesus Christ?������������ Jesus was a popular healer and teacher.������������ Barabbas was not the kind of person anyone would want in their own neighborhood.������������ For Pilate, it was a politically wise solution.������������ If he placed Jesus at the mercy of the crowd, he felt confident enough that the crowd would overwhelmingly chose to liberate Jesus.������������ Pilate would then be rid of the unpleasant, envy-driven chief priest and elders.
Pilate reminds me of many contemporary leaders in positions of political power and authority.������������ Rather than serve justice, these weak leaders opt either not to make a decision or make politically motivated decisions to maintain their prestigious positions.������������ This is not limited to secular politics.������������ I suspect all of us know people who have compromised their integrity and ethics to keep their jobs.������������ Perhaps there have been times when we have had to make similar choices and buckled under the pressure.������������ Perhaps we too have failed to exert our leadership potential and chosen not to make a decision and passively let public opinion chose for us.
What lessons can we learn from today's story?������������ Could there be contemporary parallels in our own society?������������ Have there been situations in our past or present where we have succumbed to public pressure and neglected to do the right thing?
Oh God, Pilate's weak leadership in the face of raw religious hatred and jealousy is unnerving.������������ Show me where similar weak leadership exists in our own political arenas.������������ Help me vote for officials who will not give way to intolerant religious voices.������������ Open our eyes to our own weaknesses, and give us courage to stand up for justice even in the face of hostile opposition.������������ Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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