“They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means “The Place of the Skull”. And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. And they crucified him and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.” (Mark 15:22-24, NRSV)
I believe in God, who was bullied and humiliated.
Is it really less than a week since we arrived in Jerusalem? The joyful shouts of Hosanna. The laughter. The singing. The heavenly smell of incense lingering in the air. “Jesus, is it really you?” we asked. “Welcome! Welcome!” we said. And we hoisted the children up on our shoulders, the better to see the procession. “You don’t want to miss this! You’ll tell your grandchildren about this one day!”
How did it come to this?
Those singing voices are silenced now. The laughter is deadened and the incense is gone. “He’s a bad man,” we say to those same children. “No, don’t ask questions. You’ll understand when you’re older.”
Like Pilate, we have made the easy choice. It’s safer to go along with what the government want. It’s easier to side with the majority opinion, to pretend that the minority never existed in the first place. And, anyway, he’s just a man, just one man who says crazy things. It’s not as if this matters. By this time next year, we’ll have forgotten his name. Right?
God of the lonely, at times it feels that the whole world has turned its back on us.
As we call to mind the humiliation of your Son,
we pray for the outcast.
For those who have lost everything:
Their loved ones.
We pray for those who have no one else to pray for them.
And we ask for the faith to know that you are always there, especially when there is nobody else.
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, return to the Lord your God.