Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Holy Week Wednesday

Holy Week.   We live out our lives as normal during Holy Week but as we get closer and closer to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday we know that Easter is soon.   For those who are not Christian,  this week means stocking up on groceries because the stores will be closed on Friday,  Sunday,  and possibly Monday.     Being prepared.   This is what the Season of Lent has been all about.... preparing ourselves for the Glorious Resurrection.... looking inwardly at our lives and wanting to make ourselves the best we can for God.  
For myself this means praying many prayers of Forgiveness.   
 I get extremely impatient with Minister's  preaching bad sermons because they spend no time in reading and meditation and prayer on the weekly Scriptures ... and then wrote their sermon late Saturday night.  I get saddened with Sessions that have no vision to let the community know way in advance of Holy Week Worship times.   This is our Holy Week!   Let everyone know about it in the community!  
A friend of mine from Sherwood Park frequently says to me, "But Lorna,  perhaps these people are all that they can be because they are not listening to God!  You are trying to push them into being something they are not."   Too true.   My impatience leads me to being cranky and negative.  Time for Prayers of Forgiveness,  meditating upon God's Word,  eating chocolate,  doing Tai Chi, being with the Museum Volunteers,  and quilting helps to alleviate my crankiness.  Hosanna and thanks that we can come to God with our prayers of Forgivenss!  
Prayer:  We come to ask Your forgiveness O Lord,  and we seek forgiveness from each other.  Sometimes we build up walls instead of bridges to peace, and we ask Your forgiveness,  O Lord.  Sometimes we hurt by what we do to others.  Sometimes we hurt with words that are untrue.  Sometimes we cause others pain by what we fail to do, and we ask Your forgiveness, O Lord.   For the times when we’ve been rude and selfish,  for the times when we have been unkind, and for the times we refused to help our friends in need, we ask Your forgiveness O Lord.    Amen.    
(Words:  Carey Landry  1944 - .  Copyright by Carey Laundry and North American Liturgy Resources, 1986 All Rights Reserved.  Used for Educational purposes.)  

Read  St. Matthew 26:  14 – 16

Judas goes to the Chief Priests and asks them what they would give to him if he delivers Jesus.   WHAT?    Why would Judas do something like this?  Why would he go against his friend and teacher?   We never know why Judas betrays Jesus.  It could have been Judas’ understanding of Messiah was different than what Jesus was declaring as Messiah.  Perhaps Judas understood Jesus to be  a political saviour and lead a revolt against Rome.   This was not the Messiah Jesus taught the Disciples that he would become.  
Thirty pieces of silver comes from the prophet Zechariah 11: 12.  Thirty pieces of silver was the payment for the rejected shepherd.  A small sum that was only a token gesture of repayment. Zechariah the Prophet is bring up the image of thirty pieces of silver from Exodus 21: 32.  This is the price of silver paid to a master whose slave is gored by an ox. Judas did not betray Jesus because he needed the money.   Yet,  for a very small insignificant sum,  Judas begins on the road of deception and betrayal of Jesus. 
Sometimes small lies and small deceptions grow into life sized sins.   Today,  take time to say Prayers of Forgiveness.   Through Jesus’ death and resurrection,  we are already forgiven.  Yet,  it is only through looking at our lives and asking for forgiveness can we receive a true cleansing and become new again. 
Prayer of Forgiveness:    In order for each of us to be able to say “thank you God”, we need to forgive ourselves and others.   The Forgiveness Prayer exercise today is an easy one but a thorough exercise.
Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise.   On the left hand side  write the name of the person and  what they have done to you.  Add anyone you can think of on this list…. From the driver who didn’t stop to let you cross the road to the sister that forgot your birthday.
The more we forgive the more healing can be done. 
When you are done writing the names on the left hand side of your paper, start writing on the right hand side this phrase

 Dear _________, I do forgive you for _____________ and I set you free.  Through the love and forgiveness of God,  I do forgive myself for feeling hurt/ angry/  violated and I know that God will set my free.

Wait until you feel different in anyway when you think about that person.  Then go to the next name on your list.  Sometimes the list is a few names and sometimes the list is pages long.   But remember,  the more we forgive the more of God’s love we share. 

End your  Forgiveness Prayer exercise with this  prayer: 
God of all Graciousness,  I thank you that I can come to You with heavy burdens and You take all my burdens  from me.  Thank You Great God that You have taken my sorrows and anger and replace them with Your forgiveness and love.   Lamb of God,  You take away the sins of the world,  grant me Your peace.     In Jesus’ Name I pray.   Amen.
Many blessings!

From Wednesday to Thursday Night, read  St. Matthew 26: 1 - 75  
Pray:   Lamb of God,  You take away the sin of the world,  have mercy upon us.  Lamb of God,  You take away the sins from my heart,  have mercy upon me.  Lamb of God,  You take away the sin of the world, forgive us our sins.  Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world,   grant us Your peace.   As we live out our life in Your name today,  help us to ask ourselves “What have I done for Christ?”    “What am I doing for Christ today?”  What ought I to do for You today”?    Lamb of God,  You take away the sin of the world,  grant us Your love and peace.   Amen 

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