Saturday, July 24, 2010
Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus said, “You have said so.” But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate said to him, “Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?” But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed. Matthew 27:11-14
Sometimes the only answer to accusations and gossip is silence. Folks can get carried away, and in their fervor to respond to a difficult situation, will seek out someone to blame. Once a person has been identified, then it becomes easy to heap on stories, even if the stories have little or no basis in truth. When we are young and have problems, we blame our mothers and fathers. Freud taught us all that this is the way to be - finding fault in those who raised us. And when we are older, we can blame the boss or the person in charge (the parental substitute) for whatever horrific thing has happened. Being a real adult demands that we take responsibility for our actions, and that we make places safe for adults and children alike. Those who are in charge have a bigger responsibility for the good of the whole community and are called to scrutinize their own actions. They also receive blame, even when it's not theirs. I have a magnet in my kitchen which says, "I didn't sat it was your fault, I said I was going to blame you!"
Jesus is before Pilate and is being accused of sedition and terrorism. The country is in shambles, but it is hardly his doing, and yet he says nothing. Faithfulness, modeled in Jesus, calls us to understand the pain in our midst and have compassion despite being falsely accused. Our Savior invites us into the darkness of other human hearts, to abide for a time, so that we might understand more deeply the love and light of Christ. We are invited to abide in the mean times, to hold on in dangerous waters, and to be silent in the face of false accusations. It is the hardest thing to do, to be silent when fingers are pointing and mouths are screaming. But God is in the midst of the darkest places.
Today, I want to enter into a place where my actions include the silence, abiding with Jesus, until the storm has passed. I pray that we can weather these challenges together, and we can find light and love in Christ on the other side.