Keyword Search

  • Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company
    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

    Buy Direct from CSS Publishing Company

Monday of Holy Week

John 12:1-11

Monday of Holy Week is introduced with this account that is only in the Fourth Gospel, about an anointing of the feet of Jesus by Mary, the sister of Martha and of Lazarus, whom Jesus, according to John 11:1-44, had resurrected from the dead. The account makes a major contribution to the plot of the Fourth Gospel, with Jesus speaking in support of what Mary was doing and in opposition to Judas Iscariot, who was complaining about the pouring of the expensive perfume on the feet of Jesus when the perfume could have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor. The statement of the Johannine Jesus that “you are always going to have poor people with you whom you can help, but you are not always going to have me” presents the greatest challenge for us even today. It raises fundamental questions about how the financial resources of a congregation should be allocated.

Hebrews 9:11-15

The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews presents Jesus in a way that is very different from the ways in which Jesus is depicted elsewhere in our New Testament documents. Within each of the Four Gospels Jesus is opposed by the priests who manage the Temple under contracts purchased from the Romans; he is certainly not presented as the honored priest entering into the Holiest Place in the Temple to offer his own blood to God. This very different way in which Jesus was portrayed by the writer of this document was a major reason that the Epistle to the Hebrews was one of the last documents to be accepted into the New Testament canon.

Isaiah 42:1-9

By using this “Servant of the Lord” text, as it is designated by Christians, on the Monday of Holy Week, we are identifying the Servant of the Isaiah traditions with Jesus as we as Christians perceive him. That identification, of course, does not give ownership of the Servant concept to us as Christians. The Servant of the Lord still primarily belongs to the Jews, not to us as Christians. The statements in this text about God putting the Spirit of God upon the Servant in order that the Servant may establish justice on the earth in a sense unites Christians with Jews, since, when we are at our best, we as Christians, together with Jews, long for justice and work together to “repair” the world and to be righteous and just in all that we and Jews do.

Psalm 36:5-11

Here also, when we as Christians use this psalm, or any of the psalms, or any portion of the Older Testament for that matter, ideally we use these materials together with Jews, as devotional guides along with Jews, even during our so-called Holy Week. Although our experiences and our understandings of the intended meanings of the texts in the Older Testament are different from those of Jews, we must remember that these were Israelite and Jewish documents before we began to use them and that they remain basically Jewish documents today.

Leave a Reply

  • NEW 2016-17 Cycle A Resources
    Dean Feldmeyer
    The Real Deal
    Isaiah 11:1-10

    Matthew 11:2-11; Isaiah 35:1-10
    “The real deal.” Ask an internet search engine like Google or Bing for a definition of that phrase and you’ll get a handful of entries that, when put together, look something like this: An American idiom used to describe people or things that are genuine, real, legitimate, or authentic; possessed of all of the characteristics attributed to them; genuinely superior or impressive in some regard and therefore worthy of appreciation or respect. Synonym: “The real McCoy.”
         John the Baptist heard about this Jesus guy, some claims about miracles, some stories about healings. There was even some conjecture that this guy might be the messiah, the anointed one of God. John wanted more than just hearsay, though. He wanted eyewitness testimony. He wanted it straight from the horse’s mouth. But he was in jail, so he sent his disciples to find out: “Is this guy the real deal?”
         So they tracked him down, and not the sort to hem and haw around, they walked right up to Jesus and asked him: “Are you the real deal? Or are you another fake, a poser, another counterfeit prophet, telling people what they expect to hear for an easy buck?”
         Jesus is not offended by the question. He answers it clearly and straightforward, frankly and honestly. His answer, and the question that occasioned it, are as important today as they were the first time they were uttered.
         Was he? Are you? Am I? If not, how do I become “the real deal”?...more
    What Do You Want For Christmas?
    (Originally published in 1998)
    What do you want for Christmas? What is on your list? A new Nintendo 64? A Sony PlayStation? Maybe a new computer or a trip to Europe. Perhaps your desires are simpler. A new pair of socks and something sweet to eat between meals on Christmas day. Then again, I know that some of you really do want world peace and new hope for the world. Some of you just want a few minutes of peace and quiet -- a chance to calmly reflect on the life that you have been given. I know of a minister's spouse who would just like the reverend to be home for two nights in a row instead of attending committee meetings on finance or education or who knows what....more
    Cathy Venkatesh
    Easter in Advent
    The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally one that emphasizes joy. Our readings invite us into the joy of new life with God and to examine our hearts to discover what may be keeping us from fully embracing that joy. Ultimately, in this season (as in all seasons) we are called to live into the hope of the resurrection...more
    C. David McKirachan
    Why did he ask?
    Matthew 11:2-11
    If somebody comes into my house at this time of year and asks me, “What season is it?” I’d be sure they were being sarcastic, or they had come from another culture, insulated from the tsunami that we call Christmas. I go a little nuts....more
    Janice Scott
    Adrian's Swimming Coach
    There wasn't much that Adrian was good at, except swimming. He learned to swim when he was little more than a baby, and he loved it. When he was seven he joined a swimming club. It was there that he first met Mr Stevens, the swimming coach. Adrian got on well with Mr Stevens. Somehow Mr Stevens was really encouraging. He taught Adrian the best way of making his strokes and Adrian began to win at many of the galas he attended....more
    Mary Kay Eichelman
    Important People
    Object: Red carpet or red blanket or plastic red tablecloth
    Today I have rolled out the red carpet for you.  We are not famous people, movie stars or royalty, so maybe you have not had this kind of fancy treatment. But often for very important people, red carpet is actually put down for them to walk on...more

Author of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen

Great Links