The theme for Lent 2021 is Stories of Hope.
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The theme for Advent 2020 is Stories of thanksgiving during COVID-19.
Holy Saturday - Psalm 27
We are at rest while the body of Jesus lies in the tomb. We do not know when the moment of resurrection occurred two thousand years ago. But we, who know the end of this story, know that the crucifixion was not the end of the Jesus story. We do not know how the story ended, but we that it ended in triumph. Right now we can rest.
Good Friday: Psalm 22
This psalm begins with the familiar words: (v: 1) My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress? But it continues (v: 18) Be not far away, O Lord; you are my strength; hasten to help me.
The last 9 verses of this thirty verse psalm are in praise of God and are devoid of any lament.
Jesus has it all planned out. Two of his disciples are to walk into the town until they see a man with a water jar. He will be unique as carrying water is the job of women. When and how Jesus made all these preparations we do not know. But this meal, this Passover meal, is very important and so he planned carefully. I am sure you or someone in your family makes careful plans for special meals for your Thanksgiving and other special occasions. They are special times.
Psalm 55: 13, 14, 15
For had it been an adversary who taunted me, then I could have borne it;
or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me, then I could have hidden from him.
But it was you, a man after my own heart, my companion, my own familiar friend.
We took sweet counsel together, and walked with the throng in the house of God.
Mark 11: 27-33
How do you deal with challenging encounters and difficult questions? Do you get upset? Do you deny any knowledge or involvement? It is hard when the questioners are in your face and you know they are not friendly.
A Meditation on Psalm 51
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
Why do we wash? Where does that desire, that instinct, come from? Until recently the hospital staff whisked a newborn away before even letting the mother hold it, and even now they will be in a hurry to get the baby “cleaned up.” The surgeon washes before operating. We wash before we prepare food, before we eat.
Palm Sunday, March 25
“For you always have the poor with you and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish, but you will not always have me.” Mark 14:7
“With the Lord on my side I do not fear. What can mortals do to me?” Psalm 118:6
“The Lord God helps me:Therefore I have not been disgraced; Therefore I have set my face like flint, and know that I shall not be put to shame.” Isaiah 50:7
Seeing is Believing and the Marks of True Faith
Can you say, “One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see”? Do you openly confess Jesus as your Lord? Do you bow before Him in worship, not just outwardly, but in spirit and in truth (4:24), and not just on Sundays, but all through the week? Those are some of the marks of genuine saving faith.
MARCH 24 / SATURDAY