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There is always a tendency to rush past holidays each year with simply the passing comment, "can you believe that it's ______ already?" but I'd like to invite you to slow down this week and remember Jesus' last days before his crucifixion and resurrection. Traditionally we call this Holy Week because for Christians, the events of this week are pivotal to our faith. It is this week that separates Jesus from anyone or anything. 

As you move through this week, I'd invite you to take a moment to pray before reading it slowly. Try to notice something that you hadn't noticed before. How would a particular person feel in the story? What sounds do you hear as you enter the scene? The reflection question that I provide might help guide you but please don't feel constrained by it. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal something just for you that day. Then read the whole story again but from a "higher altitude". How does this story fit into what you know of the Scriptures and Jesus' ministry?

 

Palm/Passion Sunday - Read about Jesus' entering into Jerusalem and how it fulfilled the OT prophecies. Luke 19:28-42 and Zech 9:9. 

Reflection: What can you offer today as a praise offering to the King?

 

Monday - Read about Jesus at the temple. Luke 19:45-20:8.

Reflection: If our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 6:19), what might Jesus need to clean to be honored through you?

 

TuesdayRead further about Jesus teaching at the temple. Luke 20:1-40.

Reflection: Are there teachings of Jesus that you find particularly difficult and hard to follow? What do you do with those questions?

 

Wednesday - Read who Jesus said He was and the reactions of others. Luke 20:41-47. Luke 22:1-6.

Reflection: Are there things in Jesus' teaching that you think would have frustrated the disciples? What do you think led the Pharisees and Judas to want him killed?

 

"Maundy Thursday" - "maundy" comes from the Latin word "maundatum" which means "commandment" so it alludes to the new commandment given to the disciples to "love one another as I have loved you" (Jn 13:34). It is also the day of the Last Supper where Jesus broke bread with His disciples for the last time - symbolizing his body and blood being given for them. Read Luke 22:7-46.

Reflection: Jesus told his disciples that whenever they eat or drink, they were to remember Him. In what ways can the simplicity of a meal point us to Jesus? The disciples were told to pray they would not fall into temptation. Why do you think he would tell them to pray about that? Take extra time to pray today.

 

Good Friday - (The service today is at Friendship Community Church at 10am with other churches on the Peninsula.)

Reflection: Sometime between noon and 3pm, stop and reflect on Jesus' death on the cross. Read Luke 22:47-23:48. Read John 19:1-37.

If you have a favourite song/hymn that mentions the crucifixion, listen to it and reflect on the words. If you don't, try "When I survey the wondrous cross".

 

Holy Saturday - It is called Holy Saturday because it is a day of silence. Jesus lies alone in the tomb. The disciples are scattered, hurt and confused. Everyone had to wait to prepare his funeral until after the Sabbath was over. Read Luke 23:50-56 and John 19:38-42.

Reflection: Go for a quiet walk on your own. Are there things/places in your life that you feel stuck between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday? You know the promises of God are coming but you feel lost and confused as you wait for the fulfillment of the promise? In what ways might Jesus be working through the silent mystery of Saturday?

 

Easter Sunday! - Christ is risen! (Our 'not-really-sunrise' service starts at 8am at Island View Beach and our Easter Service is at 10am at SBF). Read Luke 24 and John 20.

Reflection: What have you experienced this week through your time in the Word? Share it with God and share it with a friend.

 

 

Holy week is full of different emotions - both the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. In each moment of each day (even silent Saturday!), Jesus was at work fulfilling his mission of reconciliation and redemption. I pray that as you go through the joys and sorrows throughout your life, you might find solace in the ministry of Holy Week - but every day as we live to love and serve Him with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength.

 

Bless you friends - Pastor Chris