“If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”
Reflection: Truth Unwanted :: A Guided Prayer
By John Tillman
Making Jesus known will lead to suffering and rejection. As the world investigates Jesus in our lives, we can expect the same treatment that Jesus received. May we do so, knowing that he is with us in all our suffering.
A Prayer for the Truth
“Who is it you want?” — John 18.4
Jesus, you are the king, the gift, and the truth that the world does not want.
When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. — John 18.5
The simple revelation of who you are causes even your enemies to fall to the ground.
You refuse to be who politicians want to make you.
You refuse to be who the religious elite want to make you.
You refuse to be who even your closest disciples want to make you.
Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” — John 18.11
“If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” — John 18.23
We must not expect, Lord, better treatment than our master. We will be struck for speaking your truth.
“The reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“What is truth?” retorted Pilate. — John 18.37-38
The world’s powers reject even the existence of truth. Much less your truth, Lord.
“My kingdom is not of this world…my kingdom is from another place.” — John 18.36
Remind us, Lord, that we are not of this world.
Its systems are not ours to run.
Its wealth is not ours to spend.
Its power is not ours to grasp.
Its wisdom is not ours to claim.
Its kings are not our sovereigns.
We are sent into the world, Lord, as you were.
Not to join it. But to confront it.
Not to lead it. But to serve it.
Not to enslave it. But to liberate it.
To call out from it those who will come to your truth.
We need your protection, Lord…
So that we may do as you commanded Peter, and put away our swords.
We need your power, Lord…
So that we may overcome evil not with the evils of corrupt power, but with the goodness that comes of taking up our cross and following you.
Remind us, Lord, that this world is not our home to defend, but it is the world you died for and we can expect to do no differently.
*On December 28, Christians around the world remember with sorrow the slaughter of the male infants of Bethlehem. They were killed for the same reasons many children die today. They were killed that those in power could remain in power—for economic and political convenience. They were killed to prevent justice and truth from coming.
Justice came to Herod anyway. And justice will come to the powerful who remain callous to the deaths of the innocent, in no matter what age they live. As this weekend’s reading from Malachi testifies: “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.”
Prayer: A Reading
Herod was furious on realizing that he had been fooled by the wise men…a voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping betterly: it is Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are not more. — Matthew 2:16-18
– Prayer from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle.
Prayers from The Divine Hours available online and in print.
Malachi 1 (Listen – 2:47)
John 18 (Listen – 5:16)
This Weekend’s Readings
Malachi 2 (Listen – 3:12) John 19 (Listen – 6:23)
Malachi 3 (Listen – 3:13) John 20 (Listen – 4:17)
Read More about What is Truth?
Christ’s kingdom does not depend, as earthly kingdoms too often do, upon craft, policy, and duplicity. The Master tells us that the main force and power of his kingdom lies in the truth. — Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Read More about The Trap of Being Offended
There’s no gunshot like conviction,
There’s no conscience bulletproof,
There’s no strength like our own weakness,
There’s no insult like the truth. — Charlie Peacock
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