Tag Archives: Holy Week

Holy Thursday

“He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’  An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.”  (Luke 22:41-43, NIV)

God always answers the prayers of His children.

Sometimes, it is within the plan of God to deliver His child from peril or difficulty.  To be sure, it is a gift beyond words to be delivered from illness, injury, and death.  More times than we realize, God’s hand has delivered us from difficulties, danger, disease, and from death.

Yet, sometimes it is within the plan of God to deliver His child through the peril or the difficulty looming before us.  Even here — perhaps, particularly here — we are not alone in our suffering.  As God did for His only begotten Son in the crisis reflected in today’s scripture, God will also do for you when you allow Him to work through you for His purposes.  He will give you evidence of His presence; and He will strengthen you with His strength!

Fear not!  Whether “from” or “through,” God’s presence and God’s provision are always — always — ours when we confess: “Yet not my will, but Yours be done.”  – Luther

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“A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.  Jesus said to them, ‘The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.  But you are not to be like that.  Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.'”  (Luke 22:24-26, NIV)

We now see the glory of the Resurrection, but before we arrive at Easter we must leave Palm Sunday and endure Good Friday. Our attitude through all of it, according to Jesus, is to be as He was: The least of all.  The last of all.  The servant of all.

The disciples were acting out of their corrupted nature (which, as people, we all share).  This nature aspires to be the greatest of all.  This nature desires to be the first of all. This nature expects to be served by all.

Because of what Jesus has done for all of us through His death on the cross, and through His resurrection from the dead; His summons to servitude is validated for all time and for all people.  Our corrupted, natural ambitions assure nothing but strife, but our obedience to Jesus assures us life in all of its fullness.  – Luther

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“Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him [Jesus], ‘Teacher, order your disciples to stop.’  He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.'”  (Luke 19:39-40, NIV)

Today’s scripture comes from the Liturgy of the Palms, which some of us may have heard read yesterday on Palm Sunday.  It serves as a reminder that not everyone — even other religious people, which the Pharisees were — is as excited as you may be about what God has done (and is doing) in your life.  In other words, the message is: “Curb your enthusiasm.”

In such situations, let our enthusiasm be revived by the example of the singing bird, the budding tree, the blooming flower, the frolicking squirrel, and the faithful appearances of the sun, moon, and stars.  Each declares the glory of the Lord!

Will you do your part, and join the chorus of God’s creation?   Or will you remain silent and hear your personal testimony of God’s faithfulness from the stones at your feet?  – Luther

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