Message for Monday of Holy Week 2020

Holy Week – Monday 6-4-2020

My friends,

We find ourselves in Holy Week and what an unusual one it will be for all of us.

I’m sure, like me, you found also marking Palm Sunday with the restrictions of our current lives, certainly different!

Yet, there was something about recalling the Hosanna’s; Imagining the crowd shouting praises as they saw Jesus riding in on the donkey (& foul, depending which Gospel you read)

The palm branches, which we have normally represented in the Palm Crosses, were absent and only a virtual ‘Cross on a palm’ to join the liturgy and worship whilst separated and apart.

There was something for me about anticipating when we are able to worship again together, how we will cry Hosanna! What a joyful noise we will make.

Then we arrive at the beginning of Holy Week and as the reading from Lamentations (1. 1-12a) said in Morning Prayer today – ’The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to the festivals.

All her gates are desolate, her Priests groan.

We cannot join in the marking of this week as we have become used to doing. The streets are empty and this Priest, whilst not groaning, is certainly bereft of contact with you all.

But today, let us think of the unfolding events as Jesus moves in the stories we read in the Bible, towards his death and Passion.

The Gospel for Communion today was John 12. 1-11 – the beginning of this reading recounts Mary anointing Our Lord with the expensive perfume.

John 12. 1-11

Mary Anoints Jesus

12

Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.)7Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.’

The Plot to Kill Lazarus

9 When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

May we be aware of the delightful scent of the perfume as it fills our minds. Oh that we too could dry the feet of Jesus as we prepare to walk with him to Calvary.

Welcome the Lord into your home, His presence is there anyway through the Holy Spirit.

Share with him as we journey too through this Holy Week.

Lee or I will be providing options for us all to engage together and hopefully a ‘phone in service to cater for a wider engagement.

This is where you can call a number and hear a pre-recoded sermon or meditation, prayers and thoughts.

More to follow…..

With blessings and assured prayers,

Jem