Monday, March 27
While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, for today I have suffered a great deal because of a dream about him.”
It is the proverbial “dead of night”. I awake from a disturbing dream. I am alone in the dark. The room is silent, and not a sound can be heard in the house or outside. All is still.
But my heart is beating wildly and my soul is troubled. I have heard voices in my dreams. The voices of the dead are calling to me. Are they accusing me of not fulfilling my obligations to them? Of some act of disrespect? Of some unresolved difficulty?
It is in time of such troubles that I roll over in my bed and research for a trusty companion that is always on my night stand. It is Luther’s Small Catechism which has been my friend and source of support ever since I was baptized as a Lutheran. While some adult Lutherans may have forgotten, ignored or even mocked this small tome, as it may have been many years since they fingered its comforting pages, I still remember Luther’s prayer and following direction to his flock:
“I give thanks to you, heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ your dear Son, that you have graciously protected me today. I ask you to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously to protect me tonight. Into your hands I commend myself: My body, my soul, and all that is mine. Let your holy angel be with me, so that the wicked foe may have no power over me. Amen.”
And then, as instructed by Luther I “go to sleep quickly and cheerfully”, grateful for his guidance and the blessings of our Lord and his Son.
…another reflection on Matthew 27: 19
I have often wondered what I would have been yelling if I’d been in the crowd that day in front of Pilate. How difficult it is to do the right thing, especially when leaders of the day have but one motivation: to maintain their own power. It’s a condition that has repeated itself throughout history. The chief priests and the elders stirred up the crowd because they felt threatened by Jesus and wanted him eliminated. Pilate gave into the crowd to avoid the black mark on his record that a riot would have made.
God turned our human weakness into good that day. Jesus was crucified and his life became the atonement for our sins. The selfish motives of a few led to salvation for all. Despite our human weakness, we are called to use our God given minds in all situations to discern what is right and just. In doing so we make our voices heard by all and especially those in power. We trust that God will use us to advance the mission and service of God’s domain in our world.
Let us pray…Gracious God, forgive our weak and deliberate offences and strengthen us to overcome the crowd mentality. Open our minds to be aware and understand all that happens around us and equip us to speak for justice and reconciliation in our world for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.