Since we did not have our Small Group Study this week I thought I would blog some thoughts on this final week of readings in our book A Sacred Invitation. So below are some things that “struck me”.
- Our Palm Sunday gospel reading was Matthew 21:12-17 when Jesus overturns the tables of the money changers in the temple. The message is that the temple has is not acting as God intended, instead they are exploiting the most vulnerable people who want to bring sin offerings/sacrifices. It is a reminder for us that all who are repentant are welcome to worship.
- Monday’s lesson speaks of how Jesus did not do what people thought he would following the triumphal entry. Jesus acted differently because he knew better. The crowd thought they needed a military Messiah, but Jesus knew they needed one willing to suffer. This should cause us to ask what expectations we hold for God, other people or even ourselves that need to change so that God may work freely in and through us.
- This leads into Jesus’ words in Tuesday’s gospel reading when he (unexpectedly) predicts his death. Lobdell says these words about losing our lives in this world to save it for eternity are “testimony but also calling…Instead of clinging to this seed-shaped life, we release it in order to experience the life of the age to come, in which we flourish and those around us are nourished.” (p. 136)
- Wednesday’s lesson shows us Jesus’ humanity. “Now my soul is troubled,” he says. We can only imagine the emotions he feels knowing he is facing the cross. And yet, he chooses to obey his Father, to complete the work he is given. I can’t read this without feeling incredibly grateful. Jesus chose to do this for us.
- On Maundy Thursday, we remember the (mandatum) or command that Jesus gave his disciples during the Last Supper. The command to love one another as he loved us. He demonstrated that love when he washed their feet that evening – including Judas. He then prays for them…and for us. How wonderful to be included in the story.
- On Good Friday, we consider Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea act in boldness when they ask Pilate for Jesus’ body. They bury him with honor and with graceful extravagance in the 75 pounds of burial spices. It is an offering. Jesus is dead, but they do all they can for him. It is a day for us to sit with them in the sadness.
- Silent, Holy Saturday. “With God, however, stillness is only the prelude to new creation.” (p. 150)
- Easter Sunday – He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Our Redeemer Lives – may we never fail to share the story!