Holy Week Meditation -- Wednesday, March 23, 2016

During Holy Week, we mark the most important week of the year, following the pilgrimage of Jesus from his triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm  Sunday to his crucifixion on Good  Friday and the Easter resurrection. 

To help with your spiritual walk this week, I'll be sending a daily e-mail that contains a reading from the Gospel of Mark about Jesus' journey on that day, a related image or work of art, and a few questions for prayerful contemplation. It is my prayer that these messages might provide you a brief moment of pause each day, and an opportunity to be in touch with Christ's journey to the cross.

Pastor Jennifer


Spy Wednesday

In only two days the eight-day Festival of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread would begin. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way they could seize Jesus by stealth and kill him. They agreed that it should not be done during Passover Week. "We don't want the crowds up in arms," they said.

Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper. While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume. Opening the bottle, she poured it on his head. Some of the guests became furious among themselves. "That's criminal! A sheer waste! This perfume could have been sold for well over a year's wages and handed out to the poor." They swelled up in anger, nearly bursting with indignation over her.

But Jesus said, "Let her alone. Why are you giving her a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me. She did what she could when she could-she pre-anointed my body for burial. And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly."

Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the cabal of high priests, determined to betray him. They couldn't believe their ears, and promised to pay him well. He started looking for just the right moment to hand him over.

--Mark 14:1-11, The Message

Questions for Contemplation
Can you imagine a way in which God would invite you to make an extravagant sacrifice for Christ? Would your friends and family disapprove?

Do you recognize the tension among the disciples between the practical use of resources versus the extravagant, abundance gift the woman offers? Jesus asks them to consider what is truly precious. What is precious to you?

This day is called "Spy Wednesday" because this woman's act (and Jesus' response) turns Judas into a spy for Jesus' enemies. Have you ever turned against someone you love over a disagreement? Have you ever been betrayed--or have you been a betrayer? Spend some time praying for forgiveness and healing.

Image is Anointing His Feet #2, by Wayne Forte

St. Luke's United Church of Christ
329 Walnut Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
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