Holy Week and Easter 2015

Holy Covenant UMC

Holy Week and Easter 2015


What Happen During Holy Week?


Holy Week offers us the time for reflective meditation as we journey with Christ to and release from the cross so that our hearts and minds are prepared to truly and authentically receive the gift of Easter.


Sunday: Jesus entered through gates of Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. The people spread their garments on the road, waved palms and cheered “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”


Monday: Once inside the city walls, Jesus went directly to the Temple and turned over the tables of the moneychangers. “Because you are cheating those who came to offer sacrifices to God, you have turned my Father’s house into a den of thieves!”


Tuesday: Jesus returned to the temple to teach. The Jewish leaders asked questions of him in order to trick him into saying something so they could have him arrested.  

Wednesday: Judas plotted with the priests to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.  


Thursday: Jesus met with his disciples in the upper room for the Passover Feast. At the end of the meal, Jesus served his disciples by washing their feet (John 13:1-17) and offering bread and wine as symbols for his body and blood. During this meal, Jesus predicted Peter’s denial and Judas’ betrayal. Later that evening, Jesus went to the garden to pray and the authorities came and arrested Jesus. Jesus stood before Caiaphas and was declared guilty of blaspheme.  


Friday: Jesus went before Pontius Pilate. When he found him without guilt, Pontius wanted to free him to fulfill the Passover custom of freeing one prisoner but the people called, “Crucify him!” Jesus was beaten, forced to carry his cross and then hung at Golgotha. In the afternoon, Christ released his spirit to God and died.   Saturday: Jesus’ family and friends mourned his death  

Sunday: Mary Magdalene entered the tomb where Jesus was placed and it was empty. Christ spoke to her and she realized that Christ had risen!!


**These are offered as a proposed progression of the events of Holy Week. There are many more details and happenings. Refer to your gospels, Matthew 21+; Mark 11+; and Luke 19:28+, to get a fuller picture. 

Holy Week Devotion

palmsWe began the week with Jesus being heralded as the king of kings as he rode magnificently into Jerusalem on the back of a colt. Everyone gathered in the streets to welcome and bless him. What a great day for the community!


The next morning, Jesus went to the epicenter of life for the Jews – the temple. What he found was not a tribute to God but rather a perverted understanding of what God intended for his people. It had become a place of business, of tradition, of comfort and of protection.


The temple turned the act of sacrifice into a profitable business. Many people had to travel great distances to get to the temple and they would not bring their sacrificial animals with them. Instead they would sell their animal at home with the plans of purchasing an acceptable sacrifice in Jerusalem. Unfortunately what they encountered were inflated prices and less than adequate animals. Also the temple priest did not accept roman currency and the traveler would have to convert their money into Hebrew coinage. Once again the scales were weighted to short the worshiper instead of aid them.


The temple priest and leaders were more worried about following the letter of the law instead of the spirit of the law. They lost sight of the why the law was created in the first place – to help grow a compassionate, welcoming, thriving covenantal people. But the traditions of the law grew into a adjudicatory principle that excluded those without means or capacity to offer sacrifices and purification rights. So the law became a tool to marginalize instead of edify.


The temple and its leaders found safe haven in the temple. They had everything figured out. They were not about to get uncomfortable and change things to help the stranger or welcome the needy. They allowed themselves to hide within their religion and they became insulated from the real need for a savior.


The temple had become a place for many political, religious and social leaders to protect their positions within the culture and society. They enjoyed the benefits of their power, notoriety and station in life. The temple system ensured their continued assurance of prosperity.


Can you imagine how this scene would have pierced the very heart of Jesus? He went to the temple to encounter God’s very own chosen people and what he found was a travesty. I am sure his emotions ranged from shock to disbelief to discouragement to outrage.


So what do you think that Jesus would say about our church if he were to walk in on any given day? Would he encounter a place of compassion, flexibility, openness and honesty? Or, would we too have to face his wrath because we have become too focused on the bottom line, tradition, comfort and protection?


Prayer: May God have mercy on us and help us to focus on Christ and not ourselves. Amen.

Maundy Thursday Worship 

April 2 at 7 pm


This is the day when Jesus gathered with his disciples to share his last meal with them. It was a time of reflection and appreciation for Jesus but it was a also a time of commissioning the disciples to carry on without him.

As we come to the table on Thursday, we are to experience the table as if we have Christ standing in front of us to prepare us for ministry this next year. The greatest gift he offered the his friends was a new way of understanding their call to discipleship.  

 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34

As hard as it was going to be to be over the next three days, Jesus knew the disciples would find the strength to hold onto their faith. The key was going to be how they demonstrated that faith. What would that be? Jesus called them to love. Love even in the midst of betrayal, denial, violence and hate. Love!


What is the witness of your faith?             

Good Friday Worship

April 3 at 7 pm

Jesus must face death before he could experience life. This is a difficult concept for us to grasp. But would we be willing to here the story of sacrifice if we did not see how far people would go when they were caught by fear and hate? Would we believe that Jesus truly was a courage and committed man if he spoke eloquently and walked away unscathed? Would we understand that in order for truth to be convicting, we too may be called to make great sacrifices?

Good Friday comes with many questions. Our best path through this horrific commemoration is to sit quietly with God and allow God to bring the answers to each of us as we need resolution. Our hope comes in knowing that fear, violence and death do not get the final word in this story! 

Easter Worship Services…April 5, 2015
Sunrise at 6:30 am

Youth led worship. Bring a cut flower for our cross and join us for potluck breakfast after worship.


Traditional Services of Resurrection at 8:30 and 11:00 am

He is Risen!