Posts Tagged 'Holy Week'

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How Lent Guides Us on the Journey to Calvary


The best traditions bring us closer to God and one another.

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By Quiet Streams: Why Silence and Truth Can Restore Your Soul


Reflecting on the hope of the crucifixion and resurrection requires quiet and calm.

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Heavenly Bodies: On the Promise of Resurrection


The Holy Spirit had been urging me to talk to her for four days. My sister-in-law lay unresponsive in her hospice bed. She had battled retinitis pigmentosa, which had left her virtually blind, and three different kinds of cancer. Unfortunately, she was losing the battle with the latest type of cancer. The Holy Spirit’s words reverberated in my mind. “Tell her that it’s okay, that I am waiting.”

Simple, right? Or not so simple. Every time I visited her, there were nurses and others in the room I didn’t know. I felt awkward to speak to her like this. “Any day now,” everyone said. “She surely can’t last much longer.” I tried to reason that she didn’t need me to speak to her, that “nature would take its course.”

God had a different opinion.

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Jesus Won by Losing: What We Gained in the King’s Ransom


“...the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

In his crucifixion, Jesus gave up things that were rightfully his in order to ransom his people from death. The crucifixion account in Mark’s gospel puts those clearly on display. Let’s consider the King’s ransom.

Jesus was falsely accused without a defense so that those who rightly would be accused could always have a defense (1 John 2:1).

And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed. (Mark 15:1–5)

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Your Feet Are Dirty and Only Jesus Can Wash Them


Travelers in first-century Israel probably wished they owned Carhartt boots. Their sandals left their feet exposed to dirt, mud, rotting food, animal excrement and blood from dead animals and humans. I’ve been in countries where the streets are much the same. In those places, only the brave wear open-toed sandals, if they’re willing to deal with what they’re stepping in. In John 13 at the Passover meal, Jesus and his disciples wore ratty sandals and they had walked miles to get to Jerusalem.

The solution to those stinky feet was a servant/slave. As guests entered a home, the slave would stoop down, wash the guest’s feet of the foulness then dry them off. This allowed a tolerable abiding in homes. However, on the cusp of the Passover meal, with just the disciples and Jesus together, no one volunteered as they entered the house. Supper was prepared, everyone was ready to recline together and eat and tolerate the stink. No one served. And that was okay for them. But not for Jesus.

Here, Jesus, “knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands . . . rose from supper” (John 13:3-4). Knowing that the kingdom, authority, praise and honor were his — “all things” — Jesus chose to give. The Master served the slaves.

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