First, thank you for your kind support and prayers for me an my family at the death of my father. Your prayers, cards, and gifts meant so much to us during this time. Dad lived a long, good life and he impacted many people through two separate long careers: as a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in the Air Force and as a junior high school and alternative senior high school teacher.
Second, this week is both the low point and high point of the Christian Year. It started last Sunday with the celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and ends with the celebration of his resurrection. However, to use a geographical analogy, to get from the peak of one mountain to the peak of another mountain we must first go through the valley between. The valley between the peaks of Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday is Maundy Thursday and Good (or not so good) Friday.
I have two calendars in my office that contain scripture readings, one from the United Church of Christ and the other from the United Methodist Church. The UMC calendar has scripture readings for every day this week. The UCC calendar only has readings on Thursday through Sunday. I will list all of them and you can decide where to start. Since there are so many I will not make any detailed statements or ask many questions, just one sentence summaries.
Monday, April 2
*Isaiah 42:1-9 – The first servant song of Isaiah
*Psalm 36:5-11 – God’s love is endless and priceless
*Hebrews 9:11-15 – Jesus is the sacrifice whose blood cleans us so we can serve God
*John 12:1-11 – Jesus with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus and Mary anoints Jesus’ feet.
Tuesday, April 3
*Isaiah 49:1-7 – The second servant song of Isaiah
*Psalm 71:1-14 – The attacked Psalmist hopes in the Lord
*1 Corinthians 1:18-31 – The wisdom of the cross is wiser than human wisdom
*John 12:20-36 – Jesus’ death is the judgment of this world
Wednesday, April 4
*Isaiah 50:4-9a – The third servant song of Isaiah
*Psalm 70 – The Psalmist seeks help from the Lord
*Hebrews 12:1-3 – Run the race and fix our eyes on Jesus who endured the cross.
*John 13:21-32 – Someone will betray Jesus and the Son of Man is glorified
Thursday, April 5 – Maundy Thursday
*Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14 – God’s instructions for the first Passover
*Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 – Because God has been good, I’ll keep my promises
*1 Corinthians 11:23-26 – Paul’s instructions on Communion.
*John 13:1-17, 31b-35 – Jesus washes the disciples’ feet and Jesus commands them to love.
Friday, April 6 – Good Friday
*Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – The fourth and final servant song of Isaiah
*Psalm 22 – “My God, My God, why have you left me alone?”
*Hebrews 10:16-25 – We are have been made clean so we can serve our new High Priest, Jesus.
*or Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 – We have a new High Priest who has made the right sacrifice for us.
*John 18:1-19:42 – The passion of Jesus according to the Gospel of John.
Saturday, April 7
*Job 14:1-14 – The destiny of humanity
*or Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24 – The prophet blames God for what happened yet trusts God’s love
*Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16 – The Psalmist requests help from God
*1 Peter 4:1-8 – Love because love brings the forgiveness of many sins
*Matthew 27:57-66 – The burial of Jesus and the placement of the guards at the tomb
*or John 19:38-42 – The burial of Jesus
Sunday, April 8 – EASTER SUNDAY
*Acts 10:34-43 – Peter preaches the resurrection of Jesus
*or Isaiah 25:6-9 – The Lord will save all people and death will be eliminated
*Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 – The Lord is our deliverance.
*1 Corinthians 15:1-11 – We are being saved because Christ was crucified, died, buried and rose on the third day.
*John 20:1-18 – Mary Magdalene discovers the empty tomb, Peter checks it out, and then she encounters Jesus.
*or Mark 16:1-8 – Three women discover the empty tomb with a messenger but say nothing.
May the readings this week bless you through the salvation of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.