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

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
    Chris Keating
    Gathering the Fragments
    John 6:1-21

    In real estate they say that all you really need to know is “location, location, location.”
         But in this week’s gospel lesson, the disciples discover that the three words they really need to know are “logistics, logistics, logistics.” On a hilltop, listening to Jesus, they’re surrounded by 5,000 growling stomachs. What to do? This is worse than the time the fellowship committee ran out of cole slaw at the church potluck. It’s just about Passover, there’s a hungry crowd, and there’s no Sam’s Club for miles around.
         “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” asks Jesus. He knew what he was going to do, and the disciples will once more experience God’s provision. The real question is not so much who will provide the bread but “What are we going to do with the leftovers?”
         Logistically speaking, we face similar concerns. Food waste is rising worldwide. In the United States alone, households throw away about $640 of food annually. It’s both a social and environmental issue, as rotting food constitutes the single biggest item in U.S. landfills.
         Experts note that about 25-40 percent of food that is grown, processed, and transported in the United States is never consumed. In other words, the baskets are full of fragments, even though one in seven Americans are food-insecure. We have a long way to go before nothing will be lost.
         As we recall Jesus’ proclamation that “I am the bread of the world,” the missional challenge to the church seems even more urgent. When Jesus tells the disciples to “gather up the fragments,” it appears that he’s not just talking about food but is also giving the disciples logistical instructions so that others may say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”...more
    Leftover Grace
    All four gospels employ eucharistic language in the depiction of the miraculous feeding. In John's account, Jesus gives thanks and distributes the food. As a whole, the Gospel of John neglects the sacraments. At the last supper, for instance, Jesus washes the disciples' feet instead of distributing bread and wine.
         If John intends this story to convey a theology of the eucharist two important emphases stand out. One emphasis is that this incident involves genuine hunger. By having this story do so much of the interpretive work for the eucharist, John ties the sacrament more closely to human need. Sharing the eucharist together propels the church out into the world of concrete suffering....more
    Cathy Venkatesh
    Taking and offering
    When do we have enough? When do we feel compelled to take something more, as David did in claiming of Bathsheba, and when are we free to offer what we have, as the unnamed boy did in John’s account of the feeding of the 5,000? Today’s readings provide rich food for reflection on the nature of true wealth and true poverty in our lives with God and with one another....more
    Frank Ramirez
    One Big Family
    Ephesians 3:14-21

    Forgery. Lies. Bribery. The creation of a shadow organization to channel money and paperwork. False papers. False titles. Chicanery. Did I mention lies?
          And the penalty? How about reward instead? Over six thousand people, scattered around the globe, speaking every imaginable tongue and holding citizenship papers in many countries, take their name from this extraordinary person, who on top of everything else only recently died at the age of 106....more
    Janice Scott
    A Web of Deceit
    We human beings so often spoil our lives by failing to speak the truth, or at least, failing to speak the whole truth, clearly and transparently. The reasons we fail to speak the truth often have to do with fear. We are afraid that someone will get hurt and so we try to shield them from what we imagine will be too painful for them to handle. Or we're afraid that we ourselves will be hurt because our reputation will be damaged and people will despise us or be shocked by our behaviour....more
    Cynthia Cowen
    Offerings in the Hands of Jesus
    Object: Dollar Bill
    The Point: When you offer your life to Jesus he can do wonderful things with it.
    The Lesson:  Thank you girls and boys for coming forward to share this time with me. This morning I brought with me a dollar bill. When I was a child, a dollar could take you to a movie and buy some popcorn and a soda. Today a single dollar doesn't have much power to get what you may want....more

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

Great Links