“Here we are, you and I, and I hope a third, Christ, is in our midst.”

Aelred of Rievaulx, 12th Century

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“So you are a king?” Pilate said.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”

“What is truth?” Pilate asked.

John 18:37-38a

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Pilate keeps leading Jesus, this time with the provocative question: “So you are a king?” It would be tempting for Jesus to respond: Of course I am a king!

But Jesus doesn’t succumb; he’s not seduced by earthly power. Instead, he hands the responsibility back to Pilate, commenting that he (Jesus) has said no such thing; the words came from Pilate himself. Jesus says he is there to “testify to the truth.” Leave it to sly Pilate to ask the key question: “What is truth?”

We say there is one truth — that Jesus Christ is Lord. But I wonder if we are more inclined toward what comedian Steven Colbert calls “truthiness,” the sort of, kind-of-like truth, which really isn’t, when you get right down to it.

Telling the truth is rarely easy. Real truth-tellers may get weak knees at the prospect of telling truth to power. They may even be tempted to go with truthiness. But in the end, they take the chance and say the words that need to be said, regardless of the costs.

Christine Vogel

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Empowering God, give me the wisdom to recognize truth when I hear it. Give me the courage to say the truth when I’m called to do so. Give me the faith to exercise power in ways that empower others. And keep me humble always. Amen.

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“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. […] Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet, 1929

Christine Vogel

Rev. Christine B. Vogel, D. Min., a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has served as an associate pastor, a college chaplain, and the Dean of Students at McCormick Theological Seminary. Currently she works as a certified Spiritual Director at Claret Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Walking Toward Morning: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Ken Medema

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