Prayer for Illumination
Even in your silence, Lord Jesus Christ, may we hear your voice.
Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “Yes, it is as you say.”
Then the leading priests accused him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to say something? What about all these charges against you?”
But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.
O LORD my God, my Holy One, you who are eternal—is your plan in all of this to wipe us out? Surely not! O LORD our Rock, you have decreed the rise of these Babylonians to punish and correct us for our terrible sins. You are perfectly just in this. But will you, who cannot allow sin in any form, stand idly by while they swallow us up? Should you be silent while the wicked destroy people who are more righteous than they? Are we but fish to be caught and killed? Are we but creeping things that have no leader to defend them from their enemies? Must we be strung up on their hooks and dragged out in their nets while they rejoice?
Is this how it will end? Is this the best Justice can do? “Surely not!” But there are times when Jesus says nothing, to our surprise as much as Pilate’s, and only when time has passed can we see the great salvation of our God.
“But, sir, I cannot but bless God for the glorious anticipation of a not very distant period, when these things which now help to degrade us still no more be practiced among the sons of Africa,—for, though this, and perhaps another, generation may not experience the promised blessings of Heaven, yet, the dejected, degraded, and now enslaved children of Africa will have, in spite of all their enemies, to take their stand among the nations of the earth. And, sir, I verily believe that God has something in reserve for us, which, when he shall have poured it our upon us, will repay us for all our suffering and miseries.
—David Walker (1796?-1830), speech to the Massachusetts General Colored Association, December 1828