Reflections on Holy Week
We are changing the format for On Bended Knee this week in order to provide scriptures to guide our reflections on the last week of Jesus’ life. May these Bible readings enrich your spiritual life as together we follow Jesus through his last days.
Sunday, March 24: Luke 19:28-44
On a day filled with such apparent triumph, why would Jesus weep over Jerusalem? Are there conditions/situations in our world that deserve a similar response?
Monday, March 25: Mark 11:12-19
Jesus goes directly to the temple and clears all the religious clutter so that all people will have access to God through prayer. “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people,” he says. Is there religious clutter in our lives/churches/ministries that needs to be cleared out so that others will have clear access to Jesus?
Tuesday March 26: Mark 12:28-34
Jesus encounters a man asking about the most important matters in life. “Love God and love others,” Jesus replies. Two simple commands with profound implications. How does this Holy Week prompt us to love God more deeply and to do the same for those who are our neighbors?
Wednesday, March 27: Matthew 25: 31-46
Jesus has a long conversation with his disciples about the impending destruction of the temple (“It will happen within a generation.”) followed by some parables that all have the same point: Be faithful to do what you have been commanded, no matter what. That’s how to be prepared for a very uncertain future. The final parable is the famous story of the sheep and the goats. How does this story challenge us in terms of our thinking about those for whom Jesus cares?
Thursday, March 28: John 13: 1-17
During the Passover meal, Jesus assumes the posture of the lowliest servant and washes his disciples’ feet. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you,” he says. How can we become that kind of servant, willing to humble ourselves in the service of others as a sign of our commitment to Jesus?
Friday, March 29: Luke 23:32-37
As Jesus is crucified, with taunts raining down on him from all around, he prays the profound and penetrating prayer asking that his tormentors and executioners be forgiven. What kind of perspective does it require to desire that God’s mercy be extended to everyone, including those who engage in such horrific evil as they crucify Jesus? What kind of grace is that?
Saturday, March 30: Luke 23:50-56
On this Shabbat, the followers of Jesus rest. Their hearts are filled with grief, and their minds are bombarded with myriad questions about how this tragedy could come upon Jesus. And they wait, uncertain of what to do or where to go next. This is the day of suspension, when nothing is clear and God seems so far away. Jesus’ fearful followers just wait.
Sunday, March 31: John 20-21
The final two chapters of John’s gospel record encounters between Jesus and people with quite different needs. Mary Magdalene is overwhelmed with grief. Jesus’ disciples are paralyzed with fear. Doubts swirl in Thomas’s mind. And Peter is overcome with guilt and shame. What difference does the resurrection of Jesus make? Just ask them.