Holy Week for Busy People
APRIL 10-17 2022
Holy Week is the most sacred week in the liturgical year in Christianity. Holy Week follows the final events in Jesus’ life as he heads to the cross and is an invitation for all disciples across the centuries to join him in that difficult journey of passion, suffering and hope that will lead to victory over sin and death and bring new life. It begins with Palm Sunday and concludes on Easter Sunday. At UMCG we’ve come up with a whole host of ways to take pause and join Jesus on the journey but not all of us have the ability to attend the special worship services, or the Good Friday Prayer Vigil. If you’re too busy to swing by church, I’ve developed this guide to spend 10 minutes or so each day this week to journey with Jesus and keep this week holy.
Palm Sunday – Apr 10, 2022
On Palm Sunday, Jesus entered Jerusalem with his disciples riding a donkey like a victor home from war and was greeted with streets lined with people waving palms and shouting victory chants.
Look for the wind moving the branches of a tree and shout: “Hosanna!”
Holy Monday – Apr 11, 2022
On Holy Monday, Jesus upended the businesses that were exploiting people and condemned the use of religion to oppress those without privilege in the temple.
Take a few coins in your hand. Jingle them together and pray for God to show you how you have been like the temple money changers as a participant in systems of oppression. Seek forgiveness for what God shows you and ask for God’s help to live more justly moving forward.
Holy Tuesday – Apr 12, 2022
On Holy Tuesday, temple leaders challenged Jesus with theological debates trying to trap and discredit him while challenging his authority as God’s son.
Turn on cable news or pull it up online as experts are debating. Turn it up until it is uncomfortable to hear. Sit in the noise for 30 seconds, then turn it off. Take 10 slow deep breaths. Ask God to help you become centered like Jesus in all manner of conversation.
Holy Wednesday – Apr 13, 2022
After Jesus was anointed by a woman with costly oil, Judas began his betrayal by colluding with the religious authorities by offering to deliver Jesus into their hands.
Find something fragrant (or if you have sensitivities to fragrance hold coins again). Safely inhale the fragrance. As you inhale, quietly confess “I have betrayed you, Jesus.” As you exhale, quietly say “Lord, I’m sorry. Have mercy on me.”
Maundy Thursday – Apr 14, 2022
On Maundy Thursday, the Passover meal was prepared and celebrated. After which Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray, that is where Judas betrayed him. He was arrested and tortured and Peter denied him.
Do this devotion at meal time. Preferably at dinner and experience the emotions that arise during the readings.
–Read Luke 22:1-13 before eating the meal.
-Read Luke 22:14-23 in the middle of the meal.
-Before leaving the table read Luke 22:24-38
-Without clearing the table, move to a different space and read Luke 22:39-65.
-Take a moment to reflect on how you feel about what you’ve read.
Don’t think, simply feel and then quietly clean up the meal.
Good Friday – Apr 15, 2022
On Good Friday, Jesus is subjected to a mock trial, affliction and crucifixion. He will be buried quickly before the Sabbath began at sundown.
Following the timing of Jesus’ last day:
–At 9am read Luke 22:66-71; 23:1-25
-At noon read Luke 23: 26-44
If you were asked to give a eulogy for Jesus at his memorial service after the Sabbath, what do you think you would say about your master, teacher and friend?
Holy Saturday – Apr 16, 2022
On Holy Saturday, Jesus lay dead in the tomb. Since it was the Jewish Sabbath, Jesus’ followers had to wait until the next day to give him a proper burial.
Wear black today as a sign of mourning. Keep thinking about the question from yesterday: If you were asked to give a eulogy for Jesus at his memorial service after the Sabbath, what do you think you would say about your master, teacher and friend?
Easter Sunday – Apr 17, 2022
On Easter Sunday, a couple of Jesus’ female disciples went to Jesus’ tomb to anoint him for burial and grieve their loss. But when they arrived, they discovered the tomb was opened and Jesus wasn’t there. These women were the first to receive the good news that Jesus was given new life. He is risen! He Is risen indeed!
–Wake up and face the rising sun. Perhaps move to a window or
even step outside. Read Luke 24:1-12 and shout Alleluia! He is risen!
-As you sit to eat lunch read Luke 24:13-35 and pray “Be present at my table
Lord. Stir within my heart so that it is on fire for you.
-In the evening, read Luke 24:36-48. Pray: “Lord, help me to surrender my fear
so I can receive your peace and be a witness to your mighty saving acts of power in my life and in the world.”