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Daily Devotional for July 5


July 5                                                                Luke 23:1-12

Pilate and Herod were unanimous in their decision. They found
no crime committed by Jesus. Perhaps Jesus had been a little
too zealous in his claims and preaching, but his two judges
found that he had done nothing deserving death.

His accusers, however, were adamant. They needed no proof
or adequate reason. Irrational fear was sufficient then -- as
it has been through the ages -- to unravel and destroy the civil-
ity needed for a human community to survive.

Pilate and Herod were not villains at heart, nor were they
bloodthirsty powermongers. As rather ordinary middlemen,
with limited power and courage to match, they were simply
desperate to find a way out of the dilemma without causing
their little world to come toppling down around them. Little
did Herod, Pilate, or the Jewish political and religious leaders
comprehend the real consequences of their vacillation -- that
in their lack of courage and conviction, they were condemn-
ing the Messiah to death.

Ironically, the cowardice of the leaders in this scenario and
the mocking accusations of the crowds stand mocked by
history. While they seemed to have won the day in the short
term, Jesus in his silence commands faith and respect which
continue to grow and find new expressions in human history.
Today, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Rev. Troy Perry , and homeless
activist Mitch Snyder still stand, in spite of the judgments
against them by political and religious establishment figures.
Even so, these leaders continue to be met with persecution
and rejection. Is it too much to ask that such unnecessary rejec-
tion be replaced with dignity and respect for the prophet? Will
we ever learn to give a hearing to the dreamers?

       Jesus, help me today to recognize you in those
  who give their lives every day in the struggle for truth.
    Bear up with your strength these prophets of today,
                whose names I now raise to you... .

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.198

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