“As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders, the scribes, and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.” (Mark 15: 1, NRSV)
I believe in God, who comes among us as a revolutionary.
He never learned, did he? He never did learn how to sit down and shut up. “Look, you’ll never change the world,” they said. And: “It isn’t the right time for this. You’re making everyone uncomfortable. Hush.”
He is a God who stands on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with Martin Luther King and waits alongside Nelson Mandela on Robben Island. He marches with the English suffragettes and fights against regimes in those African countries which still practice female genital mutilation. He is a Jewish German and a Rwandan Tutsi and a Sri Lankan Tamil. He was at Stonewall and he was in the House of Commons, weeping and cheering with David Lammy.
I saw him, once. He was standing on an altar with Gene Robinson, wearing a bulletproof vest and thinking that things weren’t so very different, really, from all those years ago.
God of the persecuted, the people of this world still face injustice, inequality, and denial of freedom.
As we call to mind the condemnation by Pilate,
we pray for the voiceless.
For those who are silenced and discriminated against.
For those who are afraid to speak out.
For those who face death.
And we give thanks for those who work for a fairer and more just society.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.