This past Sunday we celebrated Jesus' entry into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday) and read the Passion narrative from the Gospel of Mark (Passion Sunday). In many ways it was the beginning of the end for Jesus. Next Sunday, Easter or Resurrection Sunday, is the beginning of New Life. But first, quoting the Psalmist, we must "walk through the valley of the shadow of death". There are assigned readings for each day this week. (I know it is Tuesday already so there may be some makeup reading for those who read our scripture lessons. (That would be everyone, right?))
Here are the synopses for our journey on "The Road to Light".
Thursday, March 29 – Maundy or Holy Thursday "Respite to Wash, Eat, Drink, Love"
Before the terrible day, Jesus gathers with the disciples and others to commend a new way of life, a life lived in love for each other, and by extension, all others. A life of love is counter to the ways of the world. Living in this life will demonstrate to the world the better way God calls us to live. And when we gather around the Table of the Lord to share in his Body and Blood, we remember Jesus’ life, teachings, death and resurrection.
Friday, March 30 – Good Friday "Death on the Road"
Another version of the betrayal, trial, torture, and crucifixion of Jesus. The Light has been lifted up on the cross for us to see.
Sunday, April 1 – Resurrection Sunday "The Road Is Light (and Life)"
God vindicates the victim of our violence. The tomb is empty and we are called to journey with Jesus to new life. When we truly see what we have done and seek forgiveness; when we turn to Jesus and begin living without victims; when we call others to this new road of Life; when we love all as God loves us and all the God Reign, God’s Kingdom will come to earth as it is in heaven.
And now for the assigned readings:
Monday, March 26
- 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, March 27
- 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, March 28
- 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, March 29 – 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, March 30 – 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, March 31 – Holy Saturday
- 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 1 – EASTER or RESURRECTION 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, including Mary Magdalene, discover the empty tomb with a messenger but say nothing.
Have a Blessed Holy Week!
Peace United Church & Grey Eagle UMC