Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of Proper 8: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 119:145 to176; Evening, Psalm 128, 129 and 130;
1st Samuel 12:1 to 6 and 16 to 25; Acts 8:14 to 25; Luke 23:1 to 12:
“That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies:” (Luke 23:12).
It is from earlier words in this Luke passage that we learn the geographical boundaries of authority for both Herod and Pontius Pilate. I don’t think they were equal real rivals given that Pilate had the support of the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, to do an evil thing, they came together. It is so sad when people do this kind of bonding. You can’t tell when you might be next to be plotted against.
From other studies I have learned that the phrase “Friend of Cesar,” was more a fraternity than just a casual reference. Friend of Cesar could have a “rising star” kind of social status that meant quick promotion within the Roman hierarchy. For Pontius Pilate, it meant keeping the peace on the Judean outpost of Rome. Aftterall, Judea was not the most sought after place to be for an up and coming military officer, even if the officer was the governor of the region. If one could handle little skirmishes like that of this Jesus fellow and the local trouble he was causing, such a governing officer could get on with his career.
As Judeo- Christians this is not who we are. This “Jesus fellow,” has changed all that for us. Our Lord Jesus says the great ones among us are the ones who serve. We do not strive for higher human horizons, especially at the cost of another. We are friends of Christ Jesus, and we are pretty proud of it. We do not drop our morals in order to be friends of the boss, the politician, the priest the teacher, or even the parent. If such people are living moral lives as for as we can see, then we are friends focused on the love and equality of all people.
We Christians partner with others for the enhancement of our communities, for all in our communities. We certainly don’t partner with anyone for the degradation of anyone else. It’s just not who Jesus wants us to be. This is the kind of friendship that can be trusted and will only focus on you if you come into trouble. And the response will be loving, not a plan for your demise.
Let us live in order that we might love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John