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
    Chris Keating
    Thinking Globally, Acting Locally

    Isaiah 49:1-7

    There’s a steady refrain to Isaiah’s Servant Songs in chapters 40-55 that may sound familiar. The servant’s calling to ministry is framed around a central task: it’s time to make Israel great again.
         The servant is called both to the ministry of raising up the displaced tribes of Jacob and fulfilling Abraham’s calling to be a blessing to the nations. To do otherwise would obscure the projection of the light into the world. God is calling this fragmented and hurting community to fulfill the promise made to Abraham in Genesis 12 so that salvation “may reach to the end of the earth.”
         Epiphany is the season of light -- yet our tendency is to manage the light so that it shines largely on our own turf. We grow weary of saving others. We yearn for security. We tell ourselves that taking care of our own takes precedence over helping others.
         That sort of inward-focused protectionism has come of age recently.
         Protectionist fears can generate gale force winds that make it hard to see the sweeping beams of God’s promises. Isaiah pulls the camera back, however, summoning the servant of God to see a broader vocation. God’s servant is called to a ministry that includes interests at home and abroad. To borrow from the environmental movement’s long-held axiom, Israel is called to think globally, and to act locally.
         For missional-minded Christians, it could also be an Epiphany alert to pray globally, while also serving locally....more
    Positive Identification

    A while ago, I received an invitation to my high school reunion. Now I'm not going to tell you which one, but I've been out of high school for a while. At any rate, getting that invitation took me back to those days in Madison, Indiana, and caused me to think about some of the people who were in my class. I began wondering where they are, and what they're doing. I know about three of them: one is mayor of Madison, and another is the editor and owner of the newspaper, and one teaches classes to those who want to become nurses.
         I guess that all doesn't really matter, but because of that reunion announcement, I caught myself remembering certain moments or events that happened during high school and thinking back to what we were like then -- the people we were, or at least who we thought we were. What I realized is just how much our past shapes...more
    Wayne Brouwer
    The only way to defeat pride is to make it irrelevant. Once, when conductor Arturo Toscanini was preparing an orchestra and chorus for a performance, he was forced to work with a rather temperamental soprano soloist. His every suggestion was turned aside by her haughty opinions. At one point she loudly proclaimed: “I am the star of this performance!”...more
    Peter Andrew Smith
    Show Me Jesus
    John 1:29-42

    “I want to believe, Pastor,” Jay said. “Can you show me Jesus?”
         “Come with me.” Pastor Lyle led Jay through the door to the church hall where people were setting up tables and chairs.
         “This is a meal we host for anyone who needs it.” Pastor Lyle motioned to a woman pushing a cart loaded with silverware and glasses. “Jean, this is Jay. He’ll be helping out this morning.”...more
    Janice Scott
    Friends for Christ
    The Churches' Advertising Network nearly always comes under fire. The picture of Christ which adorned advertising hoardings around country a year or two ago at Easter, was that of Che Guevara overlaid with an image of Jesus from a classical painting. It produced a black on red poster...more
    Mary Kay Eichelman
    What's My Name?
    Object: Name tags
    How many of you know my name?  But do you know all my names?  I'm also known as Aunt ________.  or Uncle _______ and cousin ________.  Some people call  me by a nick name ______. So I have several names. Some of you might have more than one name.  (Ask the children their nicknames.)...more

Authors of
Lectionary Scripture Notes
Norman A. Beck is the Poehlmann Professor of Theology and Classical Languages and the Chairman of the Department of Theology, Philosophy, and Classical Languages at Texas Lutheran University
Dr. Norman A. Beck
Mark Ellingsen is professor at the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Dr. Mark Ellingsen