From Morton Kelsey in Bread and Wine (p. 210): “Pilate didn’t want to crucify the man. Why did Pilate condemn Jesus? Because he was a coward. He cared more about his comfortable position than he did about justice. He didn’t have the courage to stand for what he knew was right. Whenever you and I are willing to sacrifice someone else for our own benefit, whenever we don’t have the courage to stand up for what we see is right, we step into the same course that Pilate took.”
Today, we see all around us the evidence of greed, rage, of self-centeredness. But are we islands in this sea of injustice? I ask myself if I have the courage to do something, knowing that the top 1% of Americans own 43% of the financial wealth according to the research of a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz (http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html), while in 2009 the number of Americans in poverty increased to 42.9 million according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics (http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/acsbr09-1.pdf).
I ask myself if the greed and self-centeredness in me keeps me from sacrificial giving, of choosing more possessions and entertainment instead of giving my time, talents, and money to keep others from the injustices of poverty and prejudice, of physical abuse and discrimination because they are powerless to stop it alone. It is very difficult to admit to personal vices that perpetrate social injustice, and even more difficult to find ways to act so that I, too, can be the change I wish to see in the world.
But I have been given a voice—through the written word—to enable me to say, “stop the crucifixions—the unjust treatment—of my neighbors in my city and my world. Will you join me? With your help, I may have the courage to stand for what I know is right.
I didn’t want to crucify the man, either. But I have a choice, we have the choice to carry others’ crosses or observe their crucifixions…