Scripture: John 19: 1-16
Lent is an opportunity to reflect on how we live out our daily walk of emulating Jesus. It’s a time to ponder our daily decisions and how we express them in our behaviours, our relationships and our everyday life. Is every decision we make through each day a mirror of His example to us?
In the scripture today, we read about Jesus’ final moments before Pilate. We can imagine the noise, the crush of people and the mass emotion. In our mind's eye, we watch the crown of thorns, the horrific flogging, the physical and psychological torture, then our Lord being sentenced to treason and crucifixion. It’s difficult to breathe through the pain in our hearts.
But, how did He respond? When berated and mocked, He responded either with silence or with a simple statement that glorified God rather than defending Himself. His deep understanding of this walk on Earth gave Him grace and courage. For us, these responses are truly astonishing!
Silence? Can we emulate Jesus’ silence in today’s world? Can we practice intentional stillness and quietude in our day? Without the radio, the iPod, the cellphone buzzing with e-mail and Facebook contacts, we may begin to face our anxieties, our true longings, ourselves. Conversation with God deepens. We simply pray more.
So often, I’m reminded how busy our lives are. Our hands are so full that there is no room to embrace someone new, to welcome a fresh spiritual discipline into our lives, to simply go for a walk in creation within our day. What if, as part of our Lenten time, we empty our hands and our lives of activity, knowing and trusting in our Lord’s provision? With empty hands, perhaps we can take time to embrace someone or attend to the sound and sight of a bird who migrates through our valley. What if we stop, be still and attend to His nudges?
Time seems to expand with silence, providing a refreshed soul, a rested body and a listening heart. Jesus’ gifts to us are so many. His walk through Easter is His ultimate gift to humanity. Despite the enormity of His gift, He gives us choice, extending to us the freedom to decide how we follow Him.
May we choose to respond with silence, soul rest and gratitude in His gift.