Preface to Holy Week (and Readings)

Tomorrow we will enter into Holy Week.

I have been richly blessed in recent years to have learned from such spiritual contemplatives as Richard Rohr, Philip Gulley and Rob Bell. One new perspective that truly has helped me, is the insight that God is complete love, and Jesus is God’s love incarnate in our world. I’d like to share how that has changed my perspective and my life before we enter Holy Week.

In my younger years, I learned that Jesus died as a sacrifice for our sins. This led me to understand God’s love as conditional, that God wouldn’t have loved us unless God’s very son died. We can have trouble grasping that God is complete love. Some of this stems from biblical writers who described God as a punitive God. The people of that time saw calamity and disaster as God’s wrath upon their sinfulness. They understood the practice of offering sacrifices as a way to appease God. 

Jesus wasn’t sent to be a sacrifice for our sins to placate God. Nor did he take our sins upon him in his crucifixion. Instead, Jesus came as God’s incarnate Word; God’s actual living presence in our world that continues today. The Roman government and religious leaders saw Jesus’ radical way of living and loving as a threat, especially as people began to hail him as their Messiah. And so they killed him. We would have, too.

When we say that Jesus followed God’s will all the way to the cross, we can misunderstand. God’s will was not the death of Jesus. God’s will is for us to live in love, to serve one another, to share the world in peace and generosity, to honor and thank God for all of creation. This is how Jesus followed God’s will- he continued to live the way God had called him to live, never retreating, never giving up, never denying, until he died.

God is love. TOTAL LOVE. God does not punish. We encounter troubles of our own creation when we do not live in love, in generosity, in freedom, in forgiveness, in justice and peace. I am so thankful to understand this. Thank you, Richard, Philip, Rob, and all others who helped me see God’s love and Jesus’ life in a new and transformational way.

May my life reflect your love, always, in the world, dear God.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here are the readings for the rest of these Lenten and Easter meditations. 

Palm Sunday, April 5- John 14:1-14
Monday, April 6- Matthew 20:20-23
Tuesday, April 7- Matthew 16:13-20
Wednesday, April 8- John 13:12-17
Maundy Thursday, April 9- Matthew 26:36-46
Good Friday, April 10- Matthew 16:21, 24-26
Easter Vigil, Saturday, April 11- Luke 18:1-8
Easter Sunday, April 12- John 21:15-17
Monday, April 13- Luke 24:13-27

Tuesday, April 14- Luke 24:36-43

May God bless you in this precious week ahead. 

7 thoughts on “Preface to Holy Week (and Readings)

  1. I will be sharing this one also today with Sandi and it sounds like you and Leona had a similar “ understanding” about Jesus and Sandi also had been “ stuck” in the Old Testament understanding of our God! Leona said when she had her breakdown and saw and felt the warmth of Jesus’s love for her she said” l came to the end of myself” and that still gives me goosebumps! The end of “ ourselves” gives us our True understanding that Jesus is our beginning and end and there can be no true “ ourselves” without a Him! God Bless you and our whole world❣️🙏🙏🙏🤗

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  2. I continue to read and appreciate your posts. They always prompt me to contemplate further the Biblical passages. Be safe and hopeful.

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    1. Donna, THANK YOU for your kind words and encouragement! We writers are especially blessed to learn that we are making a difference in some small way. Your final sentence, “Be safe and hopeful.” YES. We all need to do this, don’t we? May all blessings surround and inspire you this week. Thanks again! ❤

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  3. Oh, Leona’s words, “I came to the end of myself” bless me today! Thank you for sharing her story again. I will need to ponder what the Spirit is saying to me in this.
    You are a joy in my life, my friend.

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