Dear Members and Friends of Faith:
This is Holy Week. This is the week during which we commemorate the last week of Jesus’ life. Jesus spent the last week of his life in and around Jerusalem and the temple. He entered into Jerusalem in triumph on Sunday, humble and riding on a donkey. The same day, he overturned the changemakers tables in the temple – “my house shall be called a house of prayer…” From Monday to Wednesday, his authority to do these things was challenged by the chief priests and elders. His teaching was challenged by the Pharisees and Sadducees. He taught, comforted, and challenged his disciples and the crowds who followed him. A nameless woman anointed his body with costly perfume. She was chastised by the disciples, but honoured by Jesus. On Thursday, he ate the Passover and instituted Holy Communion. On Friday, he was arrested, put on trial, and crucified.
All of this, we remember and mark this week. I have chosen to observe the story of this week, as well as that of Easter, through the eyes of the Gospel According to Matthew since it is Matthew’s gospel that is the focus of our lectionary this year.
If you have a system of daily devotional readings, I commend that to you. If not, I offer you these daily readings for this Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and invite you to join us for online worship on Maundy Thursday (7:00 PM) and Good Friday (10:00 AM).
These readings are selections from Jesus last week in or around Jerusalem and are offered chronologically as Matthew tells the story. You can find the readings in your Bible, or click on the links provided.
Jesus is challenged by the Sadducees and Pharisees in the temple.
Matthew 22:15-40, 23:1-12
Jesus teaches on the Mount of Olives. These are the last parables he gives his disciples.
An unnamed woman anoints Jesus in Bethany. This is too much for Judas.
Finally, I commend to you this daily prayer prepared by an organization called Work of the People. Perhaps a lovely prayer to begin and/or end your day during the pandemic.