Quiet our hearts and minds dear Lord.
Make us ready to rest, ready to reflect, ready to respond.
Help us just to be with you, here, now, together.
Music: In manus tuas – Tallis
John 19v23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24 "Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it." This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "They divided my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing." [ ] So this is what the soldiers did.
Meditation on The Lots
Some people have all the luck don't they? They win at dice, they get the throws they want, and never get found out.
This game's mainly a game of luck, but you need skill too. You need to know what you're doing. A bit like life I suppose. The throw of the dice - a bit of a lottery - but you have to use your head too if you can.
What about this one? It could have been different for him. He had it all going for him last year. They loved him; called him a prophet, a miracle maker. They followed him everywhere. The most popular prophet since, err, well for a long time. Well you can't expect me to remember their prophets can you? Nothing to do with me.
This one? Well he threw it all away didn't he? He could have been a travelling preacher, a nice young rabbi like him, safe out in the countryside somewhere making a good living in the villages.
But no, he pushed his luck. Went too far. Said some dangerous stuff about God and really upset the apple cart this week. Came riding into town like a celebrity. Caused a fuss in the temple, interfered with trade and took on the Pharisees. Big mistake.
What was he thinking of? It was a stupid gamble to think that he could win against the Jerusalem temple. Didn't he know that? Did he think they would just roll over? Even poor old Pilate couldn't persuade them. They wanted blood, so he had to let them have it.
So there is is up there – a bright bloke, a good bloke, who pushed his luck too far. He upset the wrong people and no mistake.
And here I am, just a soldier from Phillipi (a place you haven't even heard of), stuck here in Palestine. But at least I'm living and breathing and I've got a bed to go home to when this is all over.
And you? What brings you here? Chance? Curiosity? Does all this mean anything or is it just a random set of circumstances. Here you are. Does it mean anything at all?
Music Befriended – Matt Redman
King of the Jews,
Thank you for dying for us.
Visit this place, Lord we pray, and drive far from it the snares of the enemy; may your holy angels dwell with us and guard us in peace, and may your blessing be always upon us; In Jesus Name we pray Amen.
© Ellie Clack