Mark 15 opens with Jesus before Pilate. Pilate wants to know who Jesus thinks he is. Jesus remains silent. It is so counter-intuitive to our sensibilities. Here he is, given an audience with the man who holds his fate in his hands, and rather than set the record straight, he remains silent. How very different Jesus is to us. When we are hurt or misunderstood, we will tell anyone and everyone how we have been wronged and mistreated. Jesus does not seek to have the last say, and he doesn’t take the opportunity to tell his story. The reason for this runs all the way back through the Gospel to Jesus’s baptism. Pilate is in a position to decide if Jesus’s claim to kingship is legitimate or not, but Jesus isn’t interested in what Pilate thinks about who he is. That is because Jesus already knows who he is. He is the beloved of the Father. Pilate cannot change that, or take it away. Nor can the Sanhedrin. Therefore he can remain silent before his accusers because he knows something that they don’t, his worth isn’t up for grabs, it is safeguarded in the love of God.
For this way of prayer, give everyone a button with the words, ‘Beloved Child,’ or ‘Beloved of God’ on it in permanent marker. Invite people to keep it in their wallet, or their pocket. Have needle and thread on hand if people want to sew the button on the inside of their coat or clothing.
Ask people to consider what difference it might make, what freedom it could bring into their lives, to know themselves as God’s beloved, and how it might change their interactions with others as a consequence.