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

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

Get LSN Delivered to your Inbox for FREE!
First Name:
Last Name:
  • SermonSuite Special
    Mary Austin
    Awaiting the Unknown
    Luke 21:25-36

    It’s no secret that most of us are terrible at waiting. Airport gates all have television screens to distract us while we wait for a plane, and even the gas station now has a chattering television at each pump so we’re distracted while the tank fills. People standing in line at the bank are all on their phones. In fact, we try not to go to the bank at all -- doing everything online, where there’s no waiting.
         If we have to wait, we don’t know what to do with ourselves. As we watch for world events to unfold, without much information we fill the space with speculation. We cultivate fear instead of hope. We fill our minds with the worst-case scenarios.
    Advent calls us again to the discipline of waiting, and reminds us that there are different ways to wait. There’s fearful waiting; self-protective waiting; circle-the-wagons waiting; hopeful waiting; active waiting; faith-filled waiting. Advent’s candles light our way into a different kind of waiting....more
    Ready Or Not -- He Comes
    There is a passage in the old Jewish book of Zohar, that goes like this: "Whenever the Jews on earth rejoice in their festivals, they give praise to the Lord. They put on fine clothes and pile their tables with good food. So the angel asks, 'Why do the Jews pamper themselves so much?' And God answers, 'They have a distinguished guest today. I am with them.' " Today is a very special day. We are preparing for a very special guest. It is the first Sunday of Advent. Our celebration begins with the word "Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us."
         Have you noticed every time God seeks to change the world God allows a baby to be born? First, it was an infant in the bulrushes of Egypt and then a child in a manger in Bethlehem. God always comes to us in the most unexpected manner. God's self-disclosure through the biblical narrative is usually in a quiet and....more
    David Coffin
    Alert level of hope
    The tension is thick at a particular workplace, church, nonprofit organization, or community group whose existence and giving is depended upon by many people. It is just after the American Thanksgiving holiday, and there is a large deficit in the budget as the calendar turns to December. Possibly some of the goals that were set the previous January have not been met as well. What will the future of the organization look like if the current shortfalls of cash and goals met continue well into the month of December? There are other groups who are possibly looking to benefit from the spoils of those who have lost in the latest competition for scarce resources, assets, and resources needed to keep the organization operational for another year....more
    Sandra Herrmann
    The Righteous Branch
    2 Samuel 23:1-7

    We have a problem: a tree that keeps insisting that it will grow under the fence that borders our driveway. It’s a maple tree, and is quite pretty. The only problem with it is that it’s in the wrong place. I took a saw to it four years ago, and cut it off level with the driveway. Before fall arrived, it had regrown from the root. All around the trunk were slender shoots, and each of the shoots grew quite lovely leaves that turned bright red after the first frost.
         A neighbor came over when I was standing there, contemplating the fact that something quite pretty can be a terrible nuisance. “Try cutting it back now,” he offered, “and it won’t have time to recover. That might kill it.”...more
    Janice Scott
    The New Golden Era
    The memory is a strange phenomenon. As we grow older, we tend to remember more about the days of our childhood and youth than we do about what happened ten minutes ago. And I'm told that eventually many people begin to remember events of their childhood which have lain hidden and undisturbed for years....more
    Cynthia Cowen
    Celebrate! Jesus is coming again!
    Object: a Christmas tree angel
    The Point: As God’s children we can lift up our heads and hearts because Jesus will return
    The Lesson: Thank you, boys and girls, for joining me. This is a special time of the year. We are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus....more

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

Great Links