Even though it doesn't feel like it, yesterday started off Holy Week. Each day, I will send out readings and prayers, along with hymns and songs, to help us focus on who Jesus Christ is and what he did and is doing for us. I pray that we all will feel God's love filling us and renewing us each day as we make our way through this current situation. Know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May we find peace and comfort in God's Word, and the strength and courage to continue on in Jesus' name, our Lord and Savior.
Let us pray:
Christ our God,
your love is poured out in death for our sakes.
Hold us in your embrace as we wait for Easter's dawn.
Comfort us with the promise that no power on earth, not even death itself,
can separate us from your love;
and strengthen us to wait until you are revealed to us in all your risen glory.
Open the Eyes of My Heart (written by Paul Baloche, sung by Michael W. Smith)
Isaiah 42:1-9 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
42 Here is my servant, whom I uphold,
my chosen, in whom my soul delights;
I have put my spirit upon him;
he will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 He will not cry or lift up his voice,
or make it heard in the street;
3 a bruised reed he will not break,
and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;
he will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 He will not grow faint or be crushed
until he has established justice in the earth;
and the coastlands wait for his teaching.
5 Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people upon it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness,
I have taken you by the hand and kept you;
I have given you as a covenant to the people,
a light to the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord, that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to idols.
9 See, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth,
I tell you of them.
Psalm 36:5-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
5 Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep;
you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
7 How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8 They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10 O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright of heart!
11 Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me,
or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
John 12:1-11 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
12 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3 Mary 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. 4 But 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.) 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
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. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11 since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.
The Word of God for the people of God; thanks be to God.
Jesus, the Very Thought of Thee (attr. to Bernard of Clairvaux; transl by Edward Caswall; music by John B. Dykes)
Let us pray:
God, through Christ, has given us as a covenant to the people,
to heal and to liberate through prayer and work.
We gather the concerns of the church and the world,
and hold them in our hearts before our creator and redeemer.
Please lift up those who are on your heart:
Gracious God, the hope of all in need,
pour your Spirit upon us,
that we may be instruments of your justice and compassion,
a light to the nations,
and a living promise of your new heaven and new earth. Amen.
Great is Thy Faithfulness (by Thomas Chisholm and William Runyon)
God of steadfast love,
light of the blind and liberator of the oppressed,
we see your holy purpose in the tender compassion of Jesus,
who calls us into new and living friendship with you.
May we, who take shelter in the shadow of your wings,
be filled with the grace of his tender caring;
may we, who stumble in selfish darkness,
see your glory in the light of his self-giving.
We ask this through him whose suffering is victorious,
Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen.
Prayers found on The Revised Common Lectionary, a service of Vanderbilt Divinity Library, https://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/prayers.php?id=31
Picture of Mary anointing Jesus’ feet found on Pinterest
Scriptures from biblegateway.com