It is very strange moving into Holy Week and Easter knowing we don’t have a church building within which to worship. Not too long ago that would have seemed too incredible to be true, but unfortunately it is going to be like this for some time. However, through Pause for Prayer we can still pray together each day, for is it not true that the church isn’t stone, but is each and every one of us?
This Holy Week, therefore, we will continue to reflect, meditate, and pray together as a church family. We will follow Jesus and the disciples on their journey each day in the stories handed down to us in the Gospels. These are harrowing accounts, but I try to keep in mind how fortunate we are; we know of the glory that is to come.
The Gospel reading for today comes from John 12: 1-8. This is the story of Mary of Bethany and her meeting with Jesus.
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honour. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.
If you have time, read it a couple of times over, and then click on the link below to find out how Mary of Bethany might have recalled their encounter. I found this on the Church of England website. It’s about 4 minutes long
Each day this week, you will also find an audio file attached which may help in our meditation and prayer. It is a recording of a prayer or poem that is special to the person who reads it for us.
Today, Mary Scott has kindly agreed to share one of her favourites called “Little Donkey.” You can listen to it below.
This Holy Week let us commit to keeping close in prayer as we recall the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion.
In parallel with the traumas of 2,000 years ago, we also pray for those who are affected in any way by the COVID-19 virus. Stay safe.
Warm regards and peace,