statue of dog attack
Photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lalunablanca/1045612155/">Dave Barger</a>

Isaiah 50:4-9

God gave me the smarts to know
How to motivate the exasperated.
And God helps me every day
To listen to what people are really saying.
God opened my ears,
And I didn’t bolt. I didn’t run away.
I didn’t cover my face when they spat at me,
But I gave myself over to their attacks
And let them rip out my beard.

God help me,
They’re not worthy to be considered insults.
They may as well be striking flint,
Because they’re the ones who are shameful.
God will soon prove me right.

You wanna mess with me?
Bring it!
Who’s gonna get in my face?
Bring it!
God’s on my side.
Who are you to say I’m wrong?
They’re all washed up,
Nothing but moth-eaten rags.

Today is not just “holy Wednesday.” It’s also the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

Jesus and Dr. King both knew the truth of Isaiah’s words. It’s not the one being abused who has anything to be ashamed of, but the abusers. It’s not the abuser’s insults and cruelty, painful as they are in the moment, that count for anything in the grand scheme of things. Those who watch the old news reels of police turning dogs and fire hoses on unresisting protestors feel shame not for the protestors being attacked, but for the illegitimacy of their attackers.

Nobody (well, nobody worth listening to) remembers Pilate or Jim Clark with respect or admiration.