Have you ever wondered how Matthew could have known this story? Pilate’s wife may have told it. Pastor Hamilton’s devotional mentions that early Christian traditions gave her a name—Procula. The Eastern Orthodox and Ethiopian churches honor her as a saint. If indeed she became a Christian, she probably shared this story.
- Many of us want “they lived happily ever after” in marriage to mean constant peace, with no challenges or growth for either spouse. Pastor Hamilton’s devotional suggests God calls spouses to help each other do the right thing. How open are you to letting your spouse, family, or trusted friends help you discern God’s path?
- In Matthew 1-3, God spoke to Jesus’ human father Joseph (as to the patriarch Joseph) by dreams. God speaks in many ways—through the Bible, prayer, other people, inner Holy Spirit “nudges,” and other ways. How do you usually “hear” God most clearly? Might God ever speak to you (as to Pilate) in a way you don’t expect?
Ever wonder how the world would be different if Pilate would have listened to his wife! Actually, good caring and wise council is hard to find. It is even harder to keep, and I mean this in two ways. Often it is very hard to listen and act on the advice of the other particularly in pressure situations. The reasons for this I are varied I am sure, but the result of not listening is that good council then becomes harder to find because it has been my experience that people then are less likely to offer it.
When I have interviewed at churches for possible calls, my wife has nearly always sat with me in the interview itself. I know it is different, but she offers perspective, and another set of ears and eyes to help in the discernment process. One of the reasons we can do this is that I believe we have a pretty healthy relationship, built on love and respect. Does she know all there is to know about parish ministry…no, (nor do I for that matter!) but I trust her and it has worked well so far!
Finally hearing God’s will and understanding the “nudges” of the Holy Spirit are a whole lot tougher to do when fear is at the base of your actions. Pilate, though top Roman dog in Jerusalem, and certainly didn’t curry favor with the Jewish leadership, still operated out of the base of fear; fear of loosing control, fear of loosing power, fear of those who worked below and above him. Historically we know he didn’t last much longer in this post because of a fear filled over reaction to a possible insurrection. After he left Jerusalem… pretty much, nothing more is recorded about him. If he had listened more to his wife, who knows how well things might have gone for him! Still God had a plan in all of this and the conjecture is to help open our eyes, and our hearts to the workings of God through the gift of life in his Son, Jesus the Christ given to us in love.