Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Readings for Holy Week, 2017

Hello Everyone,

"Pesach Sameach" which is Hebrew for "Passover Happy" literally or "Happy Passover". (see https://goo.gl/KtQ509) Passover started last night, Monday, at sundown and will end on Tuesday, April 18, at sundown. I recently read that Passover coincides with Holy Week and Easter every 3 out of 4 years.

Here is a reminder of our Holy Week Schedule.

Maundy Thursday - Agape Supper at Grey Eagle UMC starts a 5:30 pm. This is a worship service with at light meal. I will give a short meditation on "Did Jesus Have to Die? - Death Will Be Redeemed." The synopsis for the meditation asks, "In the face of death, what does bread and wine mean? Where does love fit in? How does Jesus, body and blood, bread and wine, love us?"

Good Friday - Worship is at Peace United Church at 7:30 pm. We will be observing "The Bethel Way of the Cross"; a shortened and modified version of "The Stations of the Cross". I will speak about "Did Jesus Have to Die - The Empire Strikes." The synopsis says, "The Empire of Religion, Power and Privilege does not like to be challenged. When challenges come, someone will die. The One who is the Way, Truth, and Life, the one who is named Love, challenges the system. Love must be cast out. Love must die."

Resurrection (Easter) Sunday - Sunrise Worship at Grey Eagle UMC at 7:00 am and Regular Worship at Peace United Church at 10:30 am. My sermon which concludes our series "Did Jesus Have to Die?" is on "The Only Hope We Have". (I was sorely tempted to title Good Friday's sermon as "The Empire Strikes Back" and the Easter sermon "A New Hope", an homage to "Star Wars".) The synopsis states, "The Light drives out the darkness, The water springs forth in eternity. The Truth is revealed to those who will see. Life steps out of the grave. There is a New Hope for humanity if only we choose to follow. Go and tell others, for Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life."

There are many readings for every day of Holy Week, Monday through Sunday, so I will list them with little to no comments.

Holy Monday:
Isaiah 42:1-9 - The first Song of the Servant
Psalm 36:5-11 - The last portion of Psalm 36 is about God's steadfast love.
Hebrews 9:11-15 - Christ's sacrifice of himself bring us to worship the living God.
John 12:1-11 - The day before Jesus' entry into Jerusalem Jesus has dinner with Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Mary anoints Jesus with pure nard.

Holy Tuesday:
Isaiah 49:1-7 - The second Song of the Servant.
Psalm 71:1-14 - The oppressed and afflicted psalmist, a victim, cries to the Lord for protection from his enemies.
1 Corinthians 1:18-31 - "God chose what is low and despised in the world [the victims] . . . to reduce to nothing the things that are."
John 12:20-36 - Jesus speaks about his impending death; a grain of wheat dying to bear much fruit; now is the judgement of the world and the ruler of the world; believe in the light.

Holy Wednesday:
Isaiah 50:4-9a - The third Song of the Servant.
Psalm 70 - A prayer by the victim psalmist for delivery from his enemies.
Hebrews 12:1-3 - Surrounded by the great cloud of witnesses we are to run the race with perseverance.
John 13:21-32 - Jesus tell the disciples that one of them will betray him and Judas accepts the bread and leaves.

Holy (Maundy) Thursday:
Exodus 12:1-4, (5-10), 11-14 – God’s instructions to Moses instituting Passover.
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19 – Verse 13 makes a reference to the Cup of Salvation. Is this the Holy Chalice that Indiana Jones goes after in the third movie?
1 Corinthians 11:23-26 – Paul’s recounting of the Lord’s Supper.
John 13:1-17, 31b-35 – No supper here, but a foot washing instead.

Good Friday:
Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – The fourth Suffering Servant Song of Isaiah.
Psalm 22 – “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Read the whole psalm to get the full impact.
Hebrews 10:16-25 – Christ’s sacrifice of himself is all that is needed, therefore we should love and do good deeds.
OR Hebrews 4:14-16, 5:7-9 – Christ is the perfect High Priest and is the source of eternal salvation for all who believe.
John 18:1-19:42 – The Passion of Jesus.

Holy Saturday:
Job 14:1-14 – A difficult reading: a tree when cut down will send up shoot from the stump and roots, but if a human dies will they live again? Job thinks not in verse 12.
OR Lamentations 3:1-9, 19-24 – In the first part God has abandoned Jeremiah and in the second part Jeremiah has hope because God’s steadfast love never ends.
Psalm 31:1-4, 15-16 - The Lord is a rock and fortress and the psalmist asks for deliverance.
1 Peter 4:1-8 – Since Christ has suffered for us we should put away human desires and desire only God which leads to loving each other.
Matthew 27:57-66 – The burial of Jesus on Friday evening and the posting of the guards on Saturday morning.
OR John 19:38-42 – The burial of Jesus.

Resurrection (Easter) Sunday:
Acts 10:34-43 – Peter’s proclamation of the Gospel to Cornelius.
OR Jeremiah 31:1-6 – God will restore all the families of Israel and they shall be God’s people.
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 – God’s steadfast love endures forever and God will save us. “This is the day the Lord has made!”
Colossians 3:1-4 – Set your minds on the things that come from God for we have been raised with Christ.
OR Acts 10:34-43 – Peter’s proclamation of the Gospel to Cornelius.
John 20:1-18 – Mary Magdalene finds the tomb rock moved. She gets Peter and the other disciple to enter the tomb and discover it empty. They went home and Mary meets Jesus.
OR Matthew 28:1-10 – Two Mary’s go to the tomb where they are met by an angel who gives them a message for the disciples. They then meet the risen Jesus.

Have a great week reading God’s Word.

Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary

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