Lenten devotions: day 14

I believe Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate.

Pilate: Upon what charge do you bring this man here?

It is early morning. Outside the palace a crowd lingers. Then Pilate appears. A masterful and imposing figure he looks down on those gathered outside the gate.

Crowd: He is a criminal, otherwise we would not have brought him to you.

Pilate: Have you no law in which to charge him? Take him away and deal with him yourself.

Crowd: But we cannot have him executed under our law.

Pilate returns back inside and has Jesus brought to him.

Pilate: Are you the king of the Jews?

Jesus: My kingdom is not of this world. If it were you would have no power over me.

Pilate: So you are a king then?

Jesus: So you say. I tell you that my purpose in this world is to testify to the truth. All who know the truth listen to me.

Pilate: What is truth?

What is truth?

Truth is an understanding of right.

Truth is undeniable.

Truth is based on trust.

Truth is feared by those who live in ignorance.

Truth is revered by those who seek mercy and justice.

Truth is light.

Truth is a hard task master but the reward is great.

Truth is eternal.

What say you?




Praying the creed: Day 7

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord;

It is one thing to believe in God and acknowledge Him as creator of our world.

It is one thing to believe in the man Jesus who lived at one time on this earth.

It is a greater thing to believe that this man Jesus comes from God, is part of God and is able to deliver us promising salvation.

Can I now state that this Jesus, this part of the God Head, this saviour is also my Lord?

Definition:  one having power or authority

                      a ruler

                      one having land or property 

one who has mastery or leadership in some area of expertise.

All  of the above refer to lord using lowercase.   Merriam Webster assures me that capitalised Lord refers to God and Jesus.

Recalling instances in Jesus’ life  recognise places where he demonstrates lordship in power, rule, authority.  Witnesses to his life  recognised authority in his teaching and mastery of the law in addition to his power and ability to heal.

His reputation often went before him;

A leper wanting to be made clean, states, ” Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”

A Canaanite woman wanting healing for her daughter, pleads, ” Have mercy on me O Lord, son of David”

And Zacchaeus, recognising the need for redemptive healing, promises, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor.”

In His miracles Jesus demonstrates mastery over creation. 

The Lord of the earth has no problem in turning water into wine, controlling the storm and  walking on water.  He is able to heal the body, the mind and even bring life to the dead. 

The final victory over death. 

Witness the resurrection of Christ through Mary’s eyes.

What made her stay behind at the tomb when the others left?  In her grief she checked again, “was the tomb really empty?  Had they missed something?”  She listened as the angels wondered why she was weeping.  She longed for her Lord, even in death, to honour Him and care for Him as the laws demanded.

Turning away from the tomb, she saw someone whom she supposed to be the gardener.

Tell me where He is, sir, so that I can honour him.”

Then he spoke to Her, “Mary”.

It took just the speaking of her name for her to recognise Him.

Without true understanding she recognised him with the title “Rabboni or Master”.

Later she told the other disciples, “I have seen the Lord”.

Let us follow Mary and choose to faithfully step out and acknowledge that Jesus, is our Lord.

Lord have charge over my physical welfare as I seek to become a good steward of the blessings you pour out to me. 

 Lord direct my life, gently leading me as I make decisions and walk in faith each and every day.

 Lord I rejoice in Your presence and tell of your faithfulness.

Lord you ask for commitment and loyalty and dedication.

Lord  you ask for me.

 

 

 




Praying the Creed: 5

I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth:

And in Jesus Christ.

How important is a name?  It is our identity.  In a roomful of chattering teachers we will hear and pick out our name mentioned above other words.  When people we admire call us by name it gives us a lift.  When we receive letters, e-mails, cards  or even notes addressed to us it makes us feel wanted, special.  It builds up a relationship between ourselves and the one addressing us.

We know all our family and friends by names.  Sometimes we use our own variations of that name to indicate a deeper, more intimate relationship.

Is it the same when we refer to our Lord by name?

Why was this name given to this baby born of humble parents, born in strange circumstances and forced into exile under threat of his life?

Jesus was not an uncommon name but it was given by design – indicating the special relationship he would carry between Yahweh – God  and man.  His role was to deliver and save.

Jesus, the man, was also given the title Christ meaning anointed one.  Under the law, prophets, kings and priests were anointed as a sign of their duty and status.  Jesus’ role on earth was as prophet or teacher, king or deliverer of the Jews and priest and teacher of the new order.

He was anointed by God: but not a limited measure  from a physical container.  God poured out his spirit  upon Jesus at his baptism.  Signified in the form of a dove, spoken by God, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” heard by a nation who had long expected his coming, and yet rejected him even though they witnessed the healing and power of God daily during His ministry.

He was anointed by others: first in the gift of frankincense offered at his birth.  A fragrant offering already setting this child apart as holy or set aside for a purpose.

He was anointed during his ministry:  not by religious leaders but by those that recognised their failures and humbly ministered to the minister.  This Christ was anointed like no other, not in a priestly or kingly anointing of the head, but in the ordinary task of washing of feet – a ritual of hospitality, kindliness and subjugation to another.

Jesus’ body was anointed hastily and secretly after his death. An earthly king is anointed to establish his position and supremacy over his subjects; Jesus was anointed to establish his subjection to the power of death so that his creation, his people may reign with Him eternally.

Today, Jesus, my Lord and Saviour I acknowledge you and declare my faith in you.

Thank you that you lived on earth and  knew the beauty, sadness, delight and disappointments of  humanity and as such can show us how to meet the challenges of life with dignity and truth.

Thank you that even though you are King you became obedient and gave up your life to save me and restore me.

Today let me not only pray the creed but live it acknowledging you as my Lord and Saviour.

Phillipians 2:5-11

Amen