Holy Week Reflections
Photo by: Jolene Bowick
Maundy Thursday - April 6, 2023
“Accompanied by the disciples, Jesus left the upstairs room and went as usual to the Mount of Olives. There he told them, ‘Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation.’ He walked away and knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will, not mine.’” Luke 22:39-42 NLT
These would be the loneliest hours for Jesus. Having spent one last, but very special meal with the disciples, Jesus and the eleven moved to the Mount of Olives. There, while the disciples rested and slept, Jesus poured out his grief over what was to take place in only hours. We can only imagine the sorrow and agony he experienced. This man who calmed the storm and walked on water was about to take on the sin of the whole world and pay the price, once for all, that we might have communion with him; that we might be forgiven of our sin; that we might be reconciled to the Father and one day live eternally with Him. But this night Jesus’ burden was heavy with sorrow and pain.
PRAYER: Father, because we know the rest of the story; because we know that Jesus conquered death and lives eternally with You, we tend to forget the horror he faced this night. He had lived with, and taught these men for three years. Would it be enough? Tonight, knowing what lay ahead, Jesus poured out his heart to the only One who would understand. May we remember with great thanksgiving that Jesus’ survival of this night was only possible because of his deep love for us. Thank you for giving us Your only Son, the only sacrifice sufficient to pay for our sin. Amen.
Pastor Donnalyn Froese
Holy Saturday - April 8, 2023
Lamentations 3:1-9 NIV
I am the man who has seen affliction
by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
He has driven me away and made me walk
in darkness rather than light;
indeed, he has turned his hand against me
again and again, all day long.
He has made my skin and my flesh grow old
and has broken my bones.
He has besieged me and surrounded me
with bitterness and hardship.
He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
He has walled me in so I cannot escape;
he has weighed me down with chains.
Even when I call out or cry for help,
he shuts out my prayer.
He has barred my way with blocks of stone;
he has made my paths crooked.
Lamentations 3:19-24 NIV
I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”
On Holy Saturday, this last day of the Lenten season, we remember the body of Jesus in the tomb. Christ has died. Hope, for many, was lost. What did this period of hopelessness feel like for the disciples? We know how this story ends, but they were left wondering… was Jesus really the saviour we thought he was? Would he really come back to life? He’s in a tomb! But as today’s reading indicates in verse 23, God is faithful. God is faithful even in the waiting, even in the hopeless moments.
PRAYER: God, I thank you that you are faithful. We so often find ourselves wavering, doubting, and worried. Would you be our stronghold, and would we be reminded to run to you in the midst of our fear. I thank you that you love us, even when we feel dismayed by our immediate circumstances. Show us also how to be faithful, as you are. Amen.
Pastor Evan Whitman
Good Friday - April 7, 2023
Why is it called Good Friday,
and what is so “Good “ about it?
Religious traditions have different names for the Friday before Easter. Some refer to it as “Passion Friday,” others as “Sacred Friday”. It is believed the Christian tradition has stuck with the moniker of “Good Friday” because the terrible Friday has been called “Good Friday” for the reason that it led to the resurrection of Jesus and his victory over death and sin. The pinnacle of Christian celebrations.
For those caught up in this historical event there didn’t seem to be much good about it.
Mary lost her beloved Son.
The disciples lost their teacher and mentor.
The disciples lost their leader, the one they gave up their careers to follow.
The followers of Jesus lost their hope.
“Good Friday” reminds us that the way of Jesus requires a different understanding of good.
Following Jesus is the way of the cross.
Following Jesus is the way of sacrifice.
Following Jesus is the way of suffering.
Following Jesus this way helps us to see what is truly good in a world obsessed with comfort,
choice foods, pleasure, and one’s own fulfillment.
The Psalmist David, when he found himself in a wilderness penned these words in Psalm 63:1-5 NLT:
O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water. I have seen you in your sanctuary and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast. I will praise you with songs of joy.
PRAYER: Jesus thank you for being willing to go to the cross. Jesus thank you for modeling a different
way of living than is being portrayed to us today. Jesus thank you for submitting to the Father in
loving obedience. Jesus thank you for not thinking just of yourself but being willing to take on
the Deceiver and defeating him for the whole world. You deserve all praise and glory and
Pastor Ken and
Easter Sunday - April 9, 2023
Psalm 118:1-2 NIV
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”
Psalm 118:14-24 NIV
The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
Shouts of joy and victory
resound in the tents of the righteous:
“The Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!
The Lord’s right hand is lifted high;
the Lord’s right hand has done mighty things!”
I will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
The Lord has chastened me severely,
but he has not given me over to death
Open for me the gates of the righteous;
I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
This is the gate of the Lord
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
Jesus is risen! On this exciting and joyful day, we remember the Christ risen from the tomb, walking again among his disciples and followers, and showing the world that God is Lord, yes, even over death. In Christ we have salvation, and in him we are able to seek a renewal of our hearts. Would you consider this, especially if you have been a follower of Christ for a long time, consider: how can I respond to Christ’s sacrifice in a fresh way? Where might he be stirring in me to grow?
PRAYER: Jesus we are filled with joy at the thought of your resurrection, of your defeat of death, and our assurance of life in your name. May we bring that joy to others. May that joy overflow from our hearts and into our actions. Reshape our hearts God, to be once again focused after your heart. We love you and want to honour you with our lives. Teach us, and make us teachable we pray. Amen
Pastor Evan Whitman