Gratitude Day 877

John 13:34 – (Jesus said,) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another”

This upcoming week?

It is my FAVORITE week of the year.

Yep, the entire year.

Not because of March Madness. Or because spring should be around the corner. Not because it may be Spring Break in your area.

It is my FAVORITE week because it is Holy Week.

Yep, Holy Week.

I know. This may seem strange. It’s a week filled with emotions and drama and terribly awful things. Things that we find difficult to believe and understand. We may even think, “Did these things REALLY happen?”

Yes, my friend, I do believe these things happened.

I can’t fully explain why or how or who is to blame. Honestly, these questions are way above my paygrade. What I do know is that the stories and events and emotions from Holy Week are what the very core of my faith is based upon. As difficult as these stories maybe to read and believe, they show us a side of God that we might otherwise miss. We discover just how deep and real and amazing God’s love for each of us is. These are the stories that SHOULD change how we view God, the world and ourselves.

This is why Holy Week is my FAVORITE week of the year.

I love these stories. The donkey on Palm Sunday. Jesus cleaning out the Temple of all the profiters. The plans to have a special Passover meal; a meal rich and embodied in symbolism and mystery. The precious breaking of bread and drinking of the cup that have become the little meal that we celebrate and continue serving until now. Yes, it’s impossible to imagine standing at the foot of the cross. Or hiding in the Upper Room while the man you have dedicated the last three years of your life is dying. It’s even more unimaginable to imagine Jesus’ mother standing at the foot of the cross and watching her eldest son die the most horrific death possible.

And then, there is the waiting. The Jewish Sabbath arrives. All the people Jesus loved the most can do is wait. And wait. And wait.

Because these stories are so rich and deep and filled with the whole reason there is a Christian religion, I share with you today a little Holy Week guide. For every day for the next week, there is a scripture reading and a couple questions for you to think about. As for a prayer, do you receive my daily text prayer? A little prayer that arrives each morning at 7 AM central time? If not, subscribe to this by texting dailyprayer (all one word – doesn’t have to be in italic) to the number 608-924-5208. You’ll receive a confirmation text and then begin receiving these morning daily prayers. Throughout Holy Week, each daily text prayer will relate directly to the devotion of the day.

How do you use this guide? Print it off. Keep this post on your phone. Daily, I will share the day’s Holy Week focus on my social media. Throughout Lent, I’ve been posting Lenten affirmation videos on Facebook and Instagram. These videos will also tie into this Holy Week devotion. My hope that is through one of these means, you will discover the meaning of Holy Week and experience some of the messages for yourself.

HOLY WEEK DAILY GUIDE

Palm Sunday:

Read Matthew 21:6-9 – Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem

  • How do you praise and honor Jesus?
  • Are there days when this is difficult? What do you do then?

Monday:

Read Matthew 21:12-13 – the cleansing of the Temple

          Matthew 22:41-46 – Who is Jesus?

  • Jesus found it difficult to watch people use the Temple for purposes other than worshiping God. What emotions do you Jesus sharing see in this story? Can the Son of God express rightfully have a range of emotions?
  • Understanding that Jesus is God’s Son and yet part of God is confusing. This can lead to unbelief. When have you struggled with unbelief? How have you searched for God?

Tuesday:

Read Matthew 24:42-44 – No one knows God’s timing

  • When have you experienced what you considered impossible timing in your life? A time when something just didn’t make sense?
  • Do you blame God for this timing or see it as what happens? Why?

Wednesday:

Read Matthew 26:1-5 – The plot to kill Jesus

          Matthew 26:6-13 – The anointing of Jesus

          Matthew 26:14-16 – The betrayal of Jesus

  • Who felt threatened by Jesus? Why?
  • Why was this extravagant anointing of Jesus something he allowed? Was it wasteful?
  • Betrayal is hard and difficult. When have you felt betrayed? When have you betrayed someone? How were your emotions different between the two situations?
  • Where do you see Jesus embracing peace?

Thursday:

Read Matthew 26:17-25 – The Passover Meal

          Matthew 26:26-29 – The Remembrance Meal

  • It was a special dinner with just Jesus and his closest friends. The entire meal was designed so Jesus could teach them to fully love one another. Do you think he modeled this?  
  • We celebrate the remembrance meal as communion. Why do you think Jesus gave us this gift?

Friday:

Read Mark 15:25-26, 37-39 – Jesus’ crucifixion

  • Did Jesus have to go through with the crucifixion? Why did he?
  • What message do you take away from Jesus’ death?

Saturday:

Read Matthew 27:57-61 – Jesus is lad in a tomb

          Matthew 27:62-66 – Guards are placed at the tomb

          Luke 23:55-56 – The ladies know where the body was laid

  • Because of the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday was a day of waiting. The Jewish people could do nothing but wait. When have you experienced a time that was difficult to wait?
  • Would have you broken the Sabbath rules and went to the tomb? Why or why not?

Easter Sunday:

Read Mark 16:2-6 – The resurrection

  • Each gospel has it’s own version of the resurrection. The details are slightly different. Does this influence how you view the resurrection?
  • What does Jesus life teach us about death?
  • What does an empty tomb mean to YOU?

Holy Week gives each of us an opportunity to revisit these stories and see how they speak to us now. Are there parts of the stories that are difficult? You bet! Yet, there’s a reason I keep returning to these stories. Here it is:

“The story of Jesus Christ is still the story I’m willing to risk being wrong about.”

– Rachel Held Evans

I agree.

Have a blessed Holy Week. I’d love to hear your favorite Holy Week traditions.

Blessings –

Dianne

Holy God – You are audacious. Unexpected. Go so beyond what we can imagine to make sure that we know exactly how much You LOVE us. This is the message of Holy Week. I pray that in the upcoming days, we can remember, celebrate and honor what You have already accomplished for us. Amen.

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Simple I

If you have enjoyed this blog, please pass it along to someone else who will also enjoy it.

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2 Responses

  1. Holy Week Blessings. It is my favorite week and holiday too! We are Easter, Resurrection Sunday people! Thank you for your gifted writing.

  2. Thank you for the daily scripture readings which help us keep focused on the real meaning of Easter

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