Monday, 2 April 2012

Monday -Holy Week - Lent 6

Sunday aaah Sunday.  The day of retreating in God's  word.   I was doubly blessed to get our favourite wise Taxi Driver.    This gentleman always thanks us for blessing him.    His understanding of life is that if he gets to pick up his passengers from a Holy Place that means that the person coming out of the Holy Place will bring that holiness with them and by sitting in his taxi cab,  will bless him.    Ya know,   isn't this the way we should be sharing the Good News?    We had a unique discussion about Jesus and Good Friday and what does a Holy Day have to do with stores closing.     While this taxi driver thinks that his Church passengers bless him,  in reality  he is a blessing to us!
And so the time of Holy Week begins.   A time of meditation upon the journey of Jesus to the cross and beyond the cross to the Resurrection.

Devotional Retreat....
Prayer:  Lord Jesus, who through forty days for us did fast and pray, teach us with You to mourn our sins, and at Your side to stay.  As You with Satan did contend, and did the victory win, oh give us strength to persevere, in You to conquer sin.  As thirst and hunger once You bore, so teach us, gracious Lord, to die to self, and daily live by Your most holy word.  And through these days of penitence, and through the Passion tide, now, evermore, in life and death, Lord Christ, with us abide.  Abide with us, that so, this life of suffering overpast, an Easter of unending joy we may attain at last.  Amen.             (Claudia Frances Hernaman 1838-1898  Words: Public Domain)

Read Matthew 26: 1 -5

This is the season of the Church year called “Holy Week”.   Along with Jesus and the Disciples,  we too journey up to Jerusalem for the Passover.   During Holy Week,  we will be reading portions of the Gospel According to St. Matthew that tell us the steps of Jesus and the Disciples from the Hosannas of Palm Sunday to the Last Meal to the  Crucifixion to the Glorious Resurrection.
Jesus turns to the disciples and says that after two days the Passover is coming, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.  Their friend,  their teacher,  their companion will be crucified.   What do you think the Disciples thought as they heard Jesus saying he would be delivered up?  Perhaps sad and sorrowful,  perhaps shocked,  perhaps astounded.  We don’t know what the Disciples thought as their reactions are not recorded in the Gospel According to St. Matthew.  But put yourself in the Disciples shoes (or sandals).  What would you think?   Or do?  Or say to Jesus?
Then the Chief Priests and Elders gathered in the palace of the High Priest Caiaphas.   During the Exodus,  the High Priest were appointed by God  (Exodus 28: 1 – 2).  The succession of the High Priest was through the sons (Exodus 29: 1 – 9).    The High Priest  was easily identifiable as he wore specific vestments. The High Priest performed the religious rites, managed the Temple Priests,  controlled the Temple treasury, and was responsible for the Spiritual Development of God’s chosen people.  In order to do all these taskings,  the High Priest also had to spend much time in prayer.    During Jesus’ time,  the High Priests were often appointed by the Roman Government and acted as a liason between Roman Government and Jewish people.   Oh oh.   Can you see the problem here when a High Priest is appointed by a Government instead of being ordained by God?  Yup,  big problem.    What happens when a High Priest is appointed by a Government instead of by ordained by God?  What happens to their prayers?  What happens to their ability to listen to God?
As you close in prayer today,  take each sentence of this prayer and pray it slowly.  Meditation upon the ideas and the words.   Do not rush these Holy Week prayers. 

Prayer:   Great God,  we come before You today saying, “Here we are Lord.  We are listening”.      Almighty God,  help us to live out this Holy Week  in thought, word, and deed.    We read today in Your Holy Scriptures of the plot against Jesus.   Did the High Priest really know what would happen?  Did the Elders of the People really know what would happen by their actions?   As we read the journey of Jesus to the Cross and Resurrection this week,  help us to walk with Jesus on his journey.  Reassure us yet again that Jesus walks with us on our journey of life. Make us mindful of our actions.    Redeeming God,  we pray by the passion of Your beloved Son, Jesus Christ, to help us in all our trials and to be the strength for our weaknesses.   Lamb of God,  You take away the sins of the world,  receive our prayers.   Lamb of God,  You take away the sin of the world,  grant us peace.    Great God,  we know that You love us and give us eternal life and joyful hope.  Comfort our hearts and strengthen them in every good word and work so that this Holy Week we may share the Life and Good News of Jesus Christ our Lord.     Amen.

Many blessings!

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