Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mocking and Teasing

Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.” Luke 22:63-71

Children can be very cruel to each others as they mock and tease one another in school. Having been on the receiving end of much teasing and taunting as a child, I have come to disagree with the old adage - "sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me". The violence generated by cruel words is hard to calculate, but between self-abuse in all forms and the acting out that results, we are a society of bullies, who like to abuse others. Folks who are in control like to maintain control. When control is maintained by abuse, whether physical, psychological or verbal, everyone suffers.

Jesus is the target of violence and abuse. His captors can control him finally, and so they heap on indignity after indignity. Jesus bore the worst of human pain and suffering, the ugliest of our human society's fear. The need to control made them fear him, and the continuity of their control became the excuse for crucifixion.

Today, I ask God that we might all be tender and sensitive with our words. I pray that our hearts might reflect the awareness of how we can chose to honor or destroy another, how we can free them or bind them with our words. "May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer."

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