Scripture: Mark 11:1-11
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.
Where have the forty days of Lent gone?
We’ve had forty days to remember who Jesus is,
Forty days to find out who Jesus is,
Forty days to look and to listen to this man from Nazareth,
This man who walked into the hearts of people,
The man who ‘stirred their imagination,’
This man who is still walking into the hearts of his people,
And stirring the imagination of the people,
Holy Week is upon us.
We will raise our palms in joyful recognition!
We do know him.
Surely we do know him…
—Ann Weems, Holy Week
Loving God, open hearts to experience the holiness of the earth-shattering events of this week. Amen
Monday, March 21
Let this blessing gather itself around you.
Let it give you what you will need for this journey.
You will not remember the words–they do not matter.
All you need to remember is how it sounded when you
stood in the place of death and heard the living call your name.
–Rev. Jan Richardson, from The Magdalene’s Blessing
Resurrected God, thank you for calling my name and transforming sorrow into joy. Amen.
Tuesday, March 22
“It seems that all my bridges have been burned
But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works.
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with the restart.”
–Mumford and Sons, “Roll Away Your Stone”
God of renewal and rebirth, please help me remember that your grace helps me become a new creation, even when I think I have messed everything up. Amen.
Wednesday, March 23
“The resurrection completes the inauguration of God’s kingdom…It is the decisive event demonstrating that God’s kingdom really has been launched on earth as it is in heaven.”
Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
God, help us to daily live your kingdom here on earth. Amen.
Thursday, March 24 – Maundy Thursday
Scripture: John 13:1-35
Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world, and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feel?” Jesus answered, “You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord–and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
“If someone is sick or in pain I’m quick to have compassion. But if someone is acting badly, maybe hurting themselves or others, I often blame them, feeling frustration, anger, even fury. That’s refusing to wash feet. It implies that life-success is in avoiding ugliness. Foot-washing, however, says that life-success is right there, with the dirty feet, cleaning up the ugliness.”
Remind me, O God, that washing feet is not optional work-it is your work-it is holy work. Amen.
Friday, March 25 – Good Friday
Scripture: Mark 15:42-47
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus saw where the body was laid.
O Lamb of God
O Bread of Life,
O Light of the World,
O Prince of Peace,
O Bright Morning Star,
Lead us through our lukewarm faith
through the death-shrouded Friday
to the justice and mercy of your Easter dawning.
May we have the faith to speak your gospel of life
In this world of death
And the love to live abundantly.
We would see Jesus!
–Ann Weems, The Anointed One
Dear God, on this day of darkness and starkness, may I hear the whisper that a new day will dawn soon! Amen.
March 26 – Holy Saturday
So give us the palms and give us a parade,
but O God, whisk us right from Palm Sunday
to that “great getting-up morning.”
Have our Easter baskets filled and waiting for us, O God,
because this year we’re tired and we’re scared
and we just want a little peace and quiet.
And so we turn and run
or we kneel and pray for mercy and for miracles
and the eyes to see this Jesus
the eyes to see that God is with us.
—Ann Weems, From Advent’s Alleluia to Easter’s Morning Light
Patient God, be with me as I wait for what I cannot see. Amen.
March 27 – Easter Sunday
SCRIPTURE: Mark 16:1-8
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.