Daily Advent Prayer Challenge – Day 23.
Read Luke 23. Commentary – This is a chapter that goes from bad to worse. Jesus appears before Pilate and has no defense. He doesn’t even try. What’s the point? He is sent to Herod. Herod mocks him. Jesus is silent. And in a peculiar line, we hear “That same day Herod and Pilate became friends with each other; before this they had been enemies.” Evil men getting together in friendship. Jesus has this tendency to make evil obvious. The chapter goes on with the sentence of death by Pilate, but really it is the angry crowd. Pilate is just as a afraid as everyone else and he yields to the hatred to save his own skin. The thief on the cross resorts to insult. And finally Jesus dies. But things are changing. Darkness covers the earth. The curtain in the temple is torn. Things are about to change dramatically. In ways the world is not prepared for. If it was, the world would find a way to spoil it. But the world is about to be surprised.
Let us pray. God of surprises, when all bets are off, you step up in ways we don’t expect. When the darkness seems to be in control, you flicker a small light, which pierces the darkness. When all the odds seem to be against you, you make it appear that you have lost. But you haven’t. You give evil space to gloat, so that evil will fall on its own weight. And fall it does.
Today I pray for people who actively support evil systems because they benefit from them. They appear to win. They gloat. They cheer over their exploitation of the vulnerable. But you call on us to have patience. Why? Because ruin lays ahead for these people. That is the inevitable conclusion that always happens to evil systems. They end in ruin. Give me the courage to face evil systems. Give me the pathway on how to move forward with the Gospel when roadblocks and walls are put up against the Gospel. Give me faith that I need to go forward in spite of opposition. Amen.