4 Easter - Good Shepherd Sunday

4 Easter Year C

May 12, 2019 

Acts 9:36-43; Psalm 23; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30

 

We are well into the Easter Season now. Today…is the 4th Sunday of Easter. We’ve been singing and proclaiming our Alleluia’s…We’ve been singing our hymns that proclaim that Jesus is alive! And today, on this 4th Sunday of Easter we celebrate Jesus, as the Good Shepherd.

Our worship services the past few months…I would even venture to say going all the way back to All Saints Sunday, the Advent season, the Christmas season, the season of Epiphany, the season of Lent, Holy Week, and now Easter… have highlighted so many different ways of worshiping together….so many different ways of listening and learning together…so many different glimpses into the life and death and resurrection of Jesus…

Every season of the church year, has its own gifts to give us…

If someone were to ask me what my favorite season of the church year is…or what my favorite church service was…it would be hard for me to answer…because they all have something to teach us…they all have a story to tell….and if we allow ourselves to be fully present as we worship together, listening to scriptures, singing together, praying together, breaking bread together….we may come to see that these stories, are a part of our shared stories too…

And the more we come to understand, that we are all connected and part of a bigger story, of God’s love for all his people and all of creation…the greater the opportunity for us to hear God’s voice more clearly…when the Shepherd calls our name, when Jesus calls our name…and invites us to come closer, to get to know him more deeply, and to trust enough to follow where he leads us…

Our psalm for today…Psalm 23….The Lord is my Shepherd….is a well-known and favorite psalm for many people…

It’s a psalm that is often read at funeral services and memorial services…as well as our reading from Revelation today…for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes….

If there is any one shared story, that reminds us how intimately we are all connected, it is at the worship service when we gather together to say good-bye to our loved ones whose mortal life has ended, and commend them to God’s keeping, and comfort those who mourn with our care, our compassion and our love; with the hope that abides in each one of us.

Through our belief in Jesus’ resurrection, we do indeed have hope in life eternal. We do indeed believe that death does not need to have the final say, as we recall and proclaim the mystery of our faith every week in our Eucharist service: Christ has died. Christ is Risen. Christ will come again.

We long to see signs of his resurrection and we often do, in the lives of people all around us, in those people who nourish us and love us and encourage us. And surely, in this season of Spring, there is abundant new growth, in the greens and in the flowers, that are bursting forth with signs of new hope and resurrection life.

We are witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection story….here and now…and throughout all the seasons of our lives… Because He lives…this story lives in us, too.

Each one of us. Every day. Every Season.

So, for today…if you were to ask me what my favorite church service is…I would answer that today is my favorite day….Because I love that we can be so closely joined together in the shared reading of Psalm 23.

I love that this psalm has the power to bring comfort and strength to so many people. I love that this psalm gives hope to so many people, when they don’t even know how much they need it.

I love that this psalm can lead us to the place where we can once again, be still, and hear the voice of the shepherd who wants to hold us close in the palm of his hand, not allowing anyone or anything to separate us from the love of God.

I love that this psalm has the power to remind us, all…that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, the Good Shepherd…we’ve been told plainly…we’ve seen it in the many stories of his life and teachings that are shared in the scriptures…

I love that this psalm offers a powerful vision for us to abide in…we have these beautiful scriptures to hold fast to…with hope…and assurance…

And finally…I love that all of us have gathered here this morning to worship together…knowing that we all come to the table from a different place in our lives today…

Some may be feeling joyful today for their mom or another person who has nurtured and encouraged them throughout their life….some may be remembering a beloved woman in their life, who has joined the long line of saints that have gone on before us… some may be struggling today…while others are celebrating…so many different lives and so many different stories to share today…yet…still we gather here together….as one Body…united by the Love of God, revealed to us, in the Risen Christ…

No matter where we find ourselves in the bigger story today, the story of God’s love for his people and all of creation…The words of psalm 23…whatever translation or paraphrase or hymn verse that we love…are meant to fall upon our hearts and ears today…reminding us that we have a shepherd who calls us by name…and assures us that God is always with us, in all the seasons of our lives… Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Lift Every Voice and Sing II - #104 The Lord Is My Shepherd

1          The Lord is my Shepherd, no want shall I know;

            I feed in green pastures, safe-folded I rest;

            He leadeth my soul where the still waters flow,

            Restores me when wand'ring, redeems when oppressed.

           

2          Through the valley and shadow my death though I stray,

            Since thou art my guardian, no evil I fear;

            Thy rod shall defend me, thy staff be my stay;

            No harm can befall, with my comforter near.

           

3          In the midst of affliction my table is spread;

            With blessings unmeasured my cup runneth o'er;

            With perfume and oil thou anointest my head;

            O what shall I ask of thy providence more?

           

4          Let goodness and mercy, my bountiful God,

            Still follow my steps till I meet Thee above;

            I seek by the path which my ancestors trod,

            Through the land of their sojourn, thy kingdom of love.

 

Rev Julie Platson

St Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church

Sitka, Alaska

 

Easter Day Sermon

EASTER DAY/YEAR C

APRIL 21 2019

 

Isaiah 65: 17-25; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; Acts 10:34-43; John 20:1-18    

Opening Words:  — written by Rev. Christine Sobania Johnson on her blog, Freshly Squeezed Liturgy.

 

This new day is fresh with possibility to encounter the Living Christ.

With bright eyes, let us search.

 

This new day is fresh with possibility to understand the Living Christ.

With engaged minds, let us ponder.

 

This new day is fresh with possibility to be moved by the Living Christ.

With compassionate hearts, let us feel.

 

This new day is fresh with possibility to respond to the Living Christ.

With solid devotion, let us follow.

 

This new day is fresh with possibility to serve the Living Christ.

With humble intention, let us act.

 

This new day is fresh with possibility to praise the Living Christ.

With strong voices, let us sing:

 

Alleluia! Christ is Risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

 

This day is fresh and alive with new possibilities….that’s what this celebration of Jesus’ resurrection teaches us… On this day the LORD has acted; *we will rejoice and be glad in it.

 

We rejoice on this day because Jesus’ death on the cross of Good Friday, is not the end of the story….We rejoice on this day because in the silence of Holy Saturday, God was about to do a new thing. We rejoice on this day, the day of Jesus’ resurrection, because THIS IS THE DAY that the Lord has acted! THIS IS THE DAY that the Lord has made!

 

SING (LEVS) 219: This is the Day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice, Let us rejoice and be glad in it, and be glad in it. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day. This is the day, that the Lord has made.

 

Wait a minute…didn’t we sing that song last year…How can today be THE day - again? Didn’t we hear the same gospel reading the year before…didn’t we sing some of the same hymns today that we sing every year on Easter Sunday? Didn’t we say the same thing last year: On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it!

Well, of course, we did. And we could say the same thing tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that.

Because our celebration of Jesus’ resurrection is not just a one-time story, that happened 2000 years ago.

It’s a new story, every day; a new invitation, every day - fresh with possibilities, to encounter, to understand, to be moved, to respond, to serve and praise the Living Christ…The living Christ, who was raised from the dead, fulfilling the promise of a new creation, a new heaven, a new earth…and new hopes and new joys, for all who dare to believe and proclaim with Mary… “I have seen the Lord”.

The gospel story today begins with Mary Magdalene coming to the tomb and seeing the stone removed from the tomb. She runs to tell Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved: ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’ Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went towards the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself.  Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

At this point in the story, we have heard several responses to coming upon the empty tomb:

  • Mary Magdalene sees that the stone has been removed from the tomb. She runs to tell others.

  • We hear of one who got there first, bent down and looked in the tomb, saw the linen wrappings there, but didn’t go in.

  • Simon Peter went into the tomb, saw the linen wrappings and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head.

  • Then the unnamed disciple, the one who had reached the tomb first, and earlier did not go in….now goes in…and saw something…and believed.

  • As of yet, we are told, that they still did not understand the scripture that Jesus must rise from the dead.

  • Then the disciples went home.

Um, Oh, Ok. The disciples went home.

I’m wondering why…why did they just go home at this point?

What were they looking for? What did they miss? Did it even cross their minds that he was risen from the dead? Did they even remember some of Jesus’ earlier words that foretold his death and resurrection? Did they even believe or hope for a moment, that indeed Jesus had risen from the dead? We did hear that the unnamed disciple saw something and believed. But what about the others?

To be fair, I think it can be pretty easy for us to miss the signs, too…just as the disciples did at this point in the story…

The words of an Easter reflection I read this past week (written by Roddy Hamilton) captures this well:

 

i never heard it

i never saw it

i was busy sleeping

like the rest of the world

 

it never made a sound

there was no flash of light

no great roar from heaven

(is that not how it always happens?)

 

no great hallelujahs

no angelic chorus

no chariots of fire

or mighty army marching

nothing

yet everything

 

the stone rolled

the grave clothes were folded

and jesus walked free

and no one noticed

 

The disciples had not noticed yet…..what they had just seen…but Mary Magdalene hung around and indeed, was witness to the risen Lord…

When the disciples went home, Mary Magdalene stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look* into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ When she had said this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?’ Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary!’ She turned and said to him in Hebrew,* ‘Rabbouni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” ’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

“I have seen the Lord”, Mary Magdalene announced to the others.

In the midst of her grief, and tears, she remained there at the empty tomb…she did not just walk away and go home….she must have remembered something that Jesus had said to her that allowed her to remain at the tomb….and perhaps it was Jesus’ voice that finally prompted her to look and see the risen Lord, right before her eyes!

It was a voice. The voice she heard so many times before, who humbly proclaimed love, forgiveness, mercy, grace, hope, and joy… not only in word, but through his compassionate care, and actions that proclaimed the power of God’s love to bring life, out of death…resurrection life out of death…which proclaims that today…is a new day…a fresh new day of possibilities…

So, yes…Mary Magdalene didn’t see any big flash of light, no great roars from heaven, no great hallelujahs…but, in the depths and darkness of her greatest sorrow… she heard Jesus call her name…and she turned…she turned…and saw the Risen Lord....and went to share the good news with the others… “I have seen the Lord.”

Therein lies the seed for the beginning of new day…a new creation…a new earth… a new resurrection-shaped life….that begins and ends in the humblest belief and acknowledgment…that Jesus is alive…and it matters to us today…

On the night before Jesus died, he gathered with his disciples to celebrate the Last Supper with them…

The Lord Jesus, after he had supped with his disciples and had washed their feet, said to them, "Do you know what I, your Lord and Master, have done to you? I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done."

I give you a new commandment: Love one another as I have loved you.

By this shall the world know that you are my disciples: That you have love for one another.

By this love, when we share this love, with one another, in word and in action: others will know that Jesus is alive today, and that the Resurrection matters to all of us today…because love….GOD’s love proclaimed to us, in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, has the power to heal and reconcile us to one another…has the power to remove the hatred that infects our hearts and divides us…has the power to build up and encourage one another, and provoke each other to good deeds to build healthy families and communities for all of God’s people…has the power to fill the hungry with good things, lift up the lowly, proclaim release to the captives, set the oppressed free, bring recovery of sight to the blind, unite us to one another, for this life...and the life to come.

 

On this day the LORD has acted; *we will rejoice and be glad in it.

The Resurrection matters. On this day. And every day.

It’s an old story, but it’s a new story.

It’s a new story, every day; it’s a new invitation, every day - fresh with possibilities, to encounter, to understand, to be moved, to respond, to serve and praise the Living Christ…The living Christ, who was raised from the dead, fulfilling the promise of a new creation, a new heaven, a new earth…and new hopes and new joys, for all who dare to believe and proclaim with Mary… “I have seen the Lord”.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Kids song after the sermon

Alive, Alive, Alive forevermore; my Jesus is alive, alive forevermore.

Alive, Alive, Alive forevermore; my Jesus is alive.

Sing Hallehuiah! Sing Hallehuiah!

My Jesus is alive forevermore.

Sing Hallehuiah! Sing Hallehuiah!

My Jesus is alive.

 

 

Rev Julie Platson, Rector

St Peter’s by the Sea Episcopal Church

Sitka, Alaska

 

 

EASTER DAY

April 21 - The Day of the Resurrection: Easter Sunday

Alleluia! Christ is Risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

The Collect:O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

John 20:1-18

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, `I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

Today's scriptures

Isaiah 65:17-25

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Acts 10:34-43

John 20:1-18

April 21 - Easter Day Service @ 10am

Easter Egg Hunt for the kids & Potluck after the service

Holy Saturday

April 20 - Holy Saturday

The Collect:

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Matthew 27:57-66

When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn in the rock. He then rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember what that impostor said while he was still alive, `After three days I will rise again.' Therefore command the tomb to be made secure until the third day; otherwise his disciples may go and steal him away, and tell the people, `He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception would be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as secure as you can." So they went with the guard and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone.

Scriptures for Holy Saturday

SHORT SERVICE TODAY AT 9AM - SATURDAY

GOOD FRIDAY

April 19 - Good Friday

The Collect: Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

"It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.  

Today is Good Friday, which marks the day of Jesus’ crucifixion and death. In scripture, he had been arrested the previous night, handed over to the authorities, and condemned to die, along with two thieves. This day, which is filled with images of Jesus’ very real pain and agony, may seem to be anything but good, but the term comes from an earlier English sense of “good,” meaning “holy”.  (The Episcopal Church) 


But as it is, my kingdom is not here … 

From the Proclamation of the Passion: John 18: 1-19: 42
 
There is certainly reason and cause for grief and mourning. There is assuredly a case to be made for lament and sadness because the reign of God is far from being realized. God’s heart is pierced because our world is pierced: hunger, violence, greed, abuse, homelessness, anxiety, isolation, racism, misogyny, bigotry, poverty, murder, extreme economic injustice … the litany is endless. Many would say this is the reality of the world and of this time and place – and that “heaven” will only come when we actually, hopefully, “get to heaven” after we die. So instead of committing to build the city of God here on earth – we look out for our spiritual self-interest, obsessed and possessed by making sure we will “get there” in the afterlife.
 
But this is not God’s hope for us, nor is it God’s vision for us. The reign of God is to be made real, right here, and right now. And while our intentions keep getting shattered in seeing the dream of God’s reign coming true, we are called on this very day to remember that each day is to be a deliberate and intentional choice to place our lives in the hands of our “Abba.” Such surrender is the only path, the only hope, that we have for tombs to be emptied and for true rising to take place.
 
We must die to our plans, strategies, politics, and patterns of living in this world; such actions and directions need to be crucified and buried, and we have to die a similar death. Then we can discover a sweet consolation that will rise from our broken hearts. 

David Haas

Maundy Thursday

April 18 - Maundy Thursday

The Collect: Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel - John 13:1-17, 31b-35

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray him. And during supper Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" Jesus answered, "You do not know now what I am doing, but later you will understand." Peter said to him, "You will never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no share with me." Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!" Jesus said to him, "One who has bathed does not need to wash, except for the feet, but is entirely clean. And you are clean, though not all of you." For he knew who was to betray him; for this reason he said, "Not all of you are clean."

After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord--and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.

"Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, `Where I am going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Maundy Thursday Scriptures

SERVICE at 6PM - TONIGHT

Wednesday in Holy Week

April 17

Wednesday in Holy Week

The Collect: Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


The Gospel: John 13:21-32

At supper with his friends, Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 

One of his disciples-- the one whom Jesus loved-- was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 

So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." 

So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "Do quickly what you are going to do."

 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, "Buy what we need for the festival"; 

or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 

If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once."


Scriptures for Wednesday in Holy Week

Tuesday in Holy Week

April 16 - Tuesday in Holy Week

The Collect: O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel : John 12:20-36

Among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 

Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 

Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 

Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. 

Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.

"Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say-- `Father, save me from this hour'? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name." 

Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him." 

Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. 

And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. 

The crowd answered him, "We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?" 

Jesus said to them, "The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. 

If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light."

After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.

A Prayer for Holy Week

 by Kimberly Knowle-Zeller

 

The darkness is giving way to the light,

but not quite yet.  

This week brings us to the threshold

of something new;

something beautiful, hopeful, and life-giving.

A glimpse into what will be.

But we’re not there yet.

 

First, we must wait.

And listen.

We are called to be attentive and present.

Open to walking in the story once again.

For this Holy Week is our story, too.

And it’s beckoning to us: Come and See.

 

Guide us to the table, to feast on bread and wine,

to sit in your presence, to reflect on betrayals and love.

To see where we’ve fallen short,

and where we’ve grasped your grace.

Humble us to offer our hands to a neighbor,

to wash their feet,

and to have ours washed as well.

May we see the needs and cares of our neighbors,

opening our hearts to feel deeply,

and our arms to open wide.

May our table have no boundaries,

and all be fed and welcomed.

 

Guide us to the cross,

to sit in the darkness,

to cry out in pain.

Let us not shield our hearts from the brokenness.

Train our eyes to see in the dark.

On that Friday, that we call good,

help us to see the love laid out for the world,

on the cross, never to be surpassed.

 

Guide us to wait.

To cry and wail and wonder.

To question what happened.

To seek solace in the company of others.

To keep watch for any signs of hope.

 

Guide us, Lord, for we know

darkness is giving way to the light.

Forever and always.

Amen.