St Matthews Digital
02 April 2021
Judas and Pilate are included
Cate Thorn reflects on the roles of Pilate and Judas in the Good Friday story
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Judas and Pilate are included
Today, we enter the second day.
Of our three-day passion ritual.
Last night after the ritual of washing, and a stripping Church of decoration we left and silence into the night into the darkness of Judas betrayal.
This morning and light of new day. We Gather to listen.
To witness to the repercussions of such betrayal.
In this place, we gather around the Labyrinth.
And earthed and enacted place of pilgrimage.
As we embody our walk with divine presence, Wonder its pathways.
You discover something strange?
We discover that we are Journey.
last night, we enacted a ritual of hand washing, Yes, it is more usual to do, foot-washing to emulate that beautiful Act of humility and service and hospitality.
Because hand-washing its associated with that nasty villain pilot who Matthew has literally washing his hands of responsibility. So we prefer not to ritually enact the refusal of justice, and the abandonment of care.
I want to ask you as you listened to the gospel today to Mark's story of the passion.
What draws your attention, what Drew your attention, which character would you prefer to be?
Are you drawn to the person of Jesus? Do you want to be as faithful as he is or at least be willing to follow his example?
Perhaps that we prefer to wash our feet at this time than the hands of one. Another tells us something we have you ever reflected, we're really happy to join the Mary crowds on Palm Sunday, but we never an act.
The screaming crowds on the day of crucifixion, we never join that parade.
Could it be that we look to Jesus God with us? We look to Jesus so that we can learn from Jesus and be like Jesus and we look away from the characters and the events in the story. That act against that.
We prepped a few like to hear and to tell and to receive this narratives of Jesus passion as a story that tells us of God that tells us about God.
And maybe that is because we expect the this is what the Bible does.
It tells us about God reveals God to us.
And therefore, it follows that the more we understand God, the better we understand. God, the better we can live correctly, Know that we are acceptable.
Understand ourselves, as accepted.
However, Abraham heschel, the Jewish theologians suggests. Otherwise What He suggests?
Is the Bible is not primarily our human vision of God.
But God's vision of us.
Dealing with humans and what God asks of us.
Rather than with the nature of God.
So let's think of the story, We Tell it the season again. What if we were to hear the story as one of what it is to be human?
Of what God is asking of us.
Of being known and beloved of God.
Mark's story of the crucifixion as quick. And to the point there is no Shuffling from Caiaphas to pilate to Herod to Pilate.
There is no disciple, Peter angst.
Mark only needs pilot.
So, let's have a look at the pilot and today's Story, the one that we tend to turn from. Let's turn to him for a moment.
It seems to me that pilot sees things for what they are.
He is amazed that Jesus does not argue for himself. He's amazed that he silent in the face of all those accusations.
And pilot sees their motivation as jealous self-interest. So why on Earth would Jesus not argue?
Pilot does have power.
Of A Sort. But his power is bound up with the crowd, it's bound up by the roll and the tradition to the crowd.
Seeking a reprieve for Jesus. We hear pilot invoking that tradition the annual releasing of a criminal but he is bound to the outcome.
So Barabbas is released.
And Jesus is sentenced to crucifixion.
Pilot had power to act differently.
He chose to satisfy the demands of the baying crowd rather than refuse them the responsibility therefore slid.
Somehow, it wasn't his fault.
So last night, we had Judas today, we have Pilot, One denied Justice, and one betrayed and both part of the story.
God story of what it is to be human of what God asks of us. Both. We absolutely have to have in the story. They are necessary if Judas and pilot and the crowd in this narrative we tell had not acted had not spoken as they did. We would not tell the story we would not have the story to tell.
We might have another lovely story of God With Us and creation, but it wouldn't be this one around which We Gather. It wouldn't be a story that puts betrayal and self-interest and mocking denial and the refusal to act for justice front and center.
A story that includes the worst that we humans can do one to another into that which brings us into being the worst that we can do to that. That deep mystery in our heart, at the heart of this event, we call life at Easter and not just at Easter and holy week but all through our journey of faith. We are called, we feel called to follow encouraged an urge to be and do to emulate and thought and word and deed the way of Jesus.
I'll scripture that we have as woven through with Rich stories of holy ones. Eccentric Fringe dwellers irregular.
And sometimes I think quite mad, holy ones.
and as we read our scripts, as we look out for them, is if they want to hear what they, what they hear is, if we want to keep close company with the Divine as they do, Because then we too like them, we will enact Justice and life will flourish and be celebrated, as God's Divine gift.
At least we want our idea of holy blessedness in them.
We may not want the cost of it, the outlier status, that we will no longer fit into the mainstream Society, but we might not want those boats.
I think we do aspire to live a holy way that least sometimes we do.
And I think when we want to do that, we don't want to look too closely at how we actually are.
or rather we recognized that we fall short, but it's part of our becoming with this now, but will get better will become more like we're meant to be unless like we are but if it always hoping and striving to be what we're not, It makes means that we aren't here. Now, we aren't present to now to the gift of life. Now to this moment of, which they will never be another one.
and so in the telling of our story In This Moment, On this day, this is the moment we stop and we steer aghast and heart Dawn at heart torn at our participation and putting God to death The one who shows us who we are.
And who loves every single bit of what that reveals.
This narrative that we tell is a narrative of life.
Of our life of who we are. It is a narrative as I've said of betrayal and abandonment and denial and self-interest of fickle crowds whose vehement cries lead to the crucifying of that, which brings us to life.
These things are in us, we bring this narrative to life. It's not somewhere over there, back then, and until and unless we let this be true, consider how all these things are in us. Pay attention to how subtly and thoroughly they weave through us.
You don't notice, it will pay attention, how can they ever be unstitched?
There is a curious irony at the heart of our passion Story. We Tell It was a human fumbling. Insistent, broken inconstancy, that cause Jesus death.
Yet through this. And because of this Christ, the light of God With Us, Is revealed.
We spend a whole lot of time covering over who we really are.
Especially the imperfections, we perceive in ourselves, perhaps this blinds us.
To the potential and being aware of, and present to our in constant and less-than-perfect selves.
Because this opens up us to honours vulnerability, to the one who loves us as we are. And all this reveals Could it be that this narrative? We tell this Narrative of Hope, and which the story We Tell today is included Could this narrative be making the startling claim?
That living transparent to how we are with all our imperfections, in fact, through our imperfections.
This is how the living light of God With Us is revealed.
And if that's a bit, would adjust slits? Turn to the BART:?
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything.
That is how the light gets in.