Friday, 18 April 2014

Good Friday


St Matthew 27: 32 - 44

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

 

We come to Good Friday.   The insults and horrors are poured upon Jesus.  So why is this day called “Good”?   In the ancient Church,  it was probably called “God’s Friday”… the Friday when God sent his Son to be crucified and died.   Today we call this day “Good” because we know the rest of the story.  The crucifixion and death of Jesus didn’t end on this day.   We know that on Sunday,  Jesus had risen from the dead.  The Resurrection…. A time of joy and peace in believing.  Christ our Redeemer.  Christ our Deliverer.  Christ our Saviour.

 

Prayer:  Lamb of God,  You take away the sins of the world.  Hear our prayer.   Lamb of God by Your humble birth and teachings, You came into our hearts with love.   Lamb of God, by Your agony on the cross, You came into our hearts with compassion for others.   Lamb of God, by Your wounds and Your death,  You strengthen us for Your work in this world.   As You hung on the cross we know that Your tears soothe our pain and grief.  As Your body was broken and Your blood poured out we know that it was a reminder of Your resurrection and forgiveness of our sins.  Thanks be to God. Amen.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Maundy Thursday


St Matthew 26: 26 – 29

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

 

Sharing a passover meal with family was, and still is,  part of the Jewish tradition of remembering the saving grace of God. Jesus says that his blood is poured out for the forgiveness of sins…. Does this bring you comfort?   Why or why not?    This Passover meal became for us today  the Lord’s  Supper.  Each time we celebrate the Lord’s  Supper we remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us and we give thanks.
Each time we sit together and eat a meal,  we remember the love of God.     Today,  remember to give God thanks each time you eat (yup,  snacks included :)    
 

Prayer:  Lamb of God,  you take away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.  Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,  have mercy upon us.    Lamb of God,  you take away the sins of the world,  grant us Your peace. Amen.  

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Holy Week Wednesday


St Matthew 22: 41-46

While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?”

“The son of David,” they replied.

43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,  44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord:     “Sit at my right hand
until I put your enemies     under your feet.”’ 45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

 

Why could the Pharisees not respond to Jesus?  What question did Jesus ask them that had them stumped?   Do people ask you questions about your faith?

 

Prayer:   Great God,  when our path looks dark and our burdens grow beyond our strength,  remind us that You are a God of love.  Increase our faith so that we become Your light to our journey and lay our burdens down at Your feet.  Help us to leave our darkened paths and burdens behind so that we can go forward to meet Christ with palms of joy in our hands,  for Jesus will lead us into Your eternal joy.  Amen.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Holy Week Tuesday


St Matthew 22: 34-40

34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

Why were the Sadducees and Pharisees trying to test Jesus?    Who tests our beliefs and faith today?  How should we respond to those who test us?

 

Prayer:  Lord God,  we love You with all our hearts and all our souls and all our minds.  Kindle within us the burning desire to love our neighbour.  Kindle within us the burning desire to love ourselves.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Museum Volunteer John- Presentation at BU Senior Colloquium


Holy Monday

St Matthew 21: 14.....14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.   "Do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him.  "Yes". Jesus replied "have you never read, from the lips of children and  infants you have ordained praise".     17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

This is Holy Monday -- the second step  along the journey to the Resurrection.   This journey is not easy.  The Chief Priests and Teachers of the law are still questioning Jesus.

Where the chief priests and teachers of the law happy and delighted with the work Christ was doing?   Why or why not?  What did Jesus say to the chief priests and teachers of the law?  Are children and infants important?

Prayer:  Lord God Almighty,  we  share in Christ’s  disappointments and sorrows.  Help us to respond to the call of Christ in every good word and work…. healing the sick… comforting the dying….having compassion on those are homeless.  Amen.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Sunday - Palm Sunday


This begins our readings and reflections on Holy Week... from Palm Sunday to Easter.  In the Church,  this is a time that we reflect upon the steps Jesus took from entering Jerusalem until the Crucifixion.  This is a difficult week as we get sad over the stories.  Yet as Christians,  we know the end of the story.  We know that Jesus in raised from the dead.  

St Matthew 21: 1- 11....As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”  This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion,     ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’” The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,   
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”   “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”  
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 
The disciples and the crowd began calling Jesus “Hosanna to the Son of David”  and “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”.     Who do you call Jesus?

 
Read over this portion of scripture again.  What words or phrases stand out to you as being important?   Imagine yourself as part of the crowd.   What would you be shouting?   Would you put down your coat on the road or pick up a branch and wave it at Jesus?   

 Prayer:  Great God, this is the day we celebrate the coming of Jesus on a donkey into the city of Jerusalem.  It is with joy and love that we remember this story.   Help us this day and always to worship You with delight and praise.  Help us this day to always come to You in prayer.  Open our minds and our hearts to understand Your most Holy Word. Almighty and Eternal God,  You saved us through the Passion of Christ.  As we celebrate Your Passion,  finish in us the work You have begun and plant new joy in our hearts to complete the work of Christ.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.