Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, in whose house the scribes and the elders had gathered. But Peter was following him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest; and going inside, he sat with the guards in order to see how this would end. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and to build it in three days.’” The high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” But Jesus was silent. Then the high priest said to him, “I put you under oath before the living God, tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you,
From now on you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of Power
and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? You have now heard his blasphemy. What is your verdict?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spat in his face and struck him; and some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Messiah! Who is it that struck you?” Matthew 26:57-68 

There are times in our lives we feel tested, sometimes tested beyond our capacity to hold it together.  I never liked tests of any sort, whether physical or academic. Tests also made me very anxious and often tongue tied. I remember auditioning once for a chorus, it was our annual auditions, and failing miserably at singing the music. This was music that I supposedly knew but everything got scrambled in my anxiety. My throat tightened in my nervousness. Even in presumably safe and friendly situations, we can be overcome by fear. Fortunately for me, our conductor let me sit with the chorus that night. He listened in while we were in rehearsal and finally popped me on the top of the head, saying, "you know this music, silly!"

Jesus was being tested for his life. He could be nothing but authentic, nothing but who he was completely. Calm and settled in the face of threats, taunts and violence, he found a peace that let him walk through the pain and testing that was before him. He took our humanity on, facing the cruelest and inhuman treatment people can devise. He took this on so that we might all live closely with our Creator, trusting in power greater than humans can imagine. God invites us today to seek Christ's peace in the face our testing. Whatever we face, we are not alone and have a companion as we walk through anxious and dangerous times. God is calling us to walk on, knowing our need and our humanity.

Today I ask God to give me an extra measure of peace as I face the coming days. There is much to do and many changes to embrace. May we have the peace of Christ as we face the testing before us. May we remember that there is more beyond the challenges of today. God's love and peace are poured out in abundance for us all today.

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