Thursday, July 2, 2015

What Evil Has He Done?

Pilate then called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was perverting the people; and here I have examined him in your presence and have not found this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us. Indeed, he has done nothing to deserve death. I will therefore have him flogged and release him.” Then they all shouted out together, “Away with this fellow! Release Barabbas for us!” (This was a man who had been put in prison for an insurrection that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again; but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no ground for the sentence of death; I will therefore have him flogged and then release him.” But they kept urgently demanding with loud shouts that he should be crucified; and their voices prevailed. So Pilate gave his verdict that their demand should be granted. He released the man they asked for, the one who had been put in prison for insurrection and murder, and he handed Jesus over as they wished. Luke 23:13-25 

I truly love being at General Convention with the gathered Episcopal Church. These are dramatic and  historic times, with many positive things are going on here. It's exhausting but often terribly encouraging. And sadly, sometimes we are very human in our behavior, one minute lauding our leaders and the next minute ready to crucify them. Too many are in a grab for power or control that they would destroy the living church we have fought so hard for.  Some would limit the power of our new Presiding Bishop and cripple his ability to lead.
In our Gospel we stand in the middle of dramatic and historic times. Days earlier the crowds had welcomed Jesus and now they are shouting to have him killed. New pacts of political allies are being made. The worst of humanity is showing its teeth. The good news of our Gospel story is that there is more. Those who would grab for power and control, or give into the crowd's frenzy, will be defeated. Evil will not prevail. God's love and blessing will conquer even death. We have to cling to that promise that there is more than our cruelest and basest behaviors at work. God is still working.
Today, I ask God to help me be a instrument of hope when overwhelmed by politics and humanity. May we all raise our prayers and humble ourselves so as to not be swept up in the now. May we prepare our hearts for the rest of the story. God's love and truth shining through.

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