Lent 2021


Holy Saturday

Holy Saturday is the seventh and final day of Holy Week. Jesus’ body is in the garden tomb of Joseph of Arimathea, where he and Nicodemus had prepared the body with a mixture of myrrh and aloes, and wrapped it in strips of linen. Guards are posted in front of the tomb at the request of the chief priests and Pharisees, and a seal is placed on the stone. We can imagine that the disciples are paralyzed by both grief and fear over the events of the past week. It is only a......

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Good Friday

Good Friday is the sixth day of Holy Week. After Jesus’ betrayal in the garden, he is dragged before a Jewish tribunal led by the high priest, Caiaphas. They place him before Pilate, the Roman prefect of Judea, to pursue a death sentence. After Pilate’s questioning, Jesus is sent on to Herod, who then sends him back to Pilate. Having declared that his kingdom is “not of this world,” Jesus is beaten, scourged, rejected by the crowd that welcomed him on Palm Sunday morning, and finally sentenced to the excruciating torture of crucifixion.......

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Holy Thursday

Holy Thursday (also known as Maundy Thursday) is the fifth day of Holy Week. Jesus gathers with his disciples in an “upper room” (a room that would have been a large, second floor hall filled with dining furniture for the occasion) to celebrate the Passover meal. At this meal, Jesus institutes the breaking of the bread (his body), and the passing of the cup (his blood), a sacred action that became the church’s central act of worship for the past few thousand years – the Eucharist (or communion). From here, he and a......

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Holy Wednesday

Holy Wednesday is the fourth day of Holy Week. On this day, church history remembers two very different responses to Jesus. The disciple Judas is remembered as the betrayer of the Lord to his captors. His loss perspective, love of money, and ultimate suicidal path are iconic of those whose “treasures” are misguided. His lack of ability to “rightly value” his Lord precipitates the psychological disease that marks a life distant from God. Mary, however, is quite a different story. John 12 tells us that it is she who pours a “pint of......

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Holy Tuesday

Holy Tuesday is the third day of Holy Week. On the Mount of Olives, west of Jerusalem and overlooking its grandeur, many great biblical events occurred. Approximately 200 feet above the level of the city, Jesus would have taught his disciples here often, and spent time in private devotion. Here is where, in just a few days, he would ask for the cup of his fate to be removed from him (Matt 26:39). Like a flashback after the temple cleansing, we see Jesus overlooking the city, weeping for his people. “How often I......

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Deep Roots and Fruit

Scripture Reading | Jeremiah 17:7-8 Happy are those who trust in the Lord, who rely on the Lord.  They will be like trees planted by the streams, whose roots reach down to the water. They won’t fear drought when it comes; their leaves will remain green.They won’t be stressed in the time of drought or fail to bear fruit.   Reflections Jeremiah’s words are incredibly relevant for our times. The is NOT a glowing promise that if you just trust in God, trouble will never come. What it promises is that when trouble comes, there is a way to continue......

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The Fruit of Love

Scripture Readings John 15:5 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything.[1] John 15:9 9 “As the Father loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. [2] 1 John 4:15-6 15 If any of us confess that Jesus is God’s Son, God remains in us and we remain in God. 16 We have known and have believed the love that God has for us.  God is love, and those who remain in love remain......

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Jesus and Figs

Scripture Reading | Luke 13:6-9 6 Jesus told this parable: “A man owned a fig tree planted in his vineyard. He came looking for fruit on it and found none. 7 He said to his gardener, ‘Look, I’ve come looking for fruit on this fig tree for the past three years, and I’ve never found any. Cut it down! Why should it continue depleting the soil’s nutrients?’ 8 The gardener responded, ‘Lord, give it one more year, and I will dig around it and give it fertilizer. 9 Maybe it will produce fruit next year; if not, then you can......

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Wolves and Fruit

Scripture Reading | Matthew 7:15-20 15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you dressed like sheep, but inside they are vicious wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruit. Do people get bunches of grapes from thorny weeds, or do they get figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree produces good fruit, and every rotten tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit. And a rotten tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore, you will know them......

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The Gift of Water and New Creation

Scripture Reading | Revelation 22:17 17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who is thirsty come! Let the one who wishes receive life-giving water as a gift.” [1] Reflections The first words of the Bible give us a vivid image. “It was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters.”[2] These words in Genesis or Israel’s story. A people in captivity drew hope from the idea that in the midst of the chaos (formless and empty) God’s Spirit was at......

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