We pray. We study the Bible. We make friends. We tell our stories. We give ourselves away in generosity and service.
WE PRAY: A PERSONAL PRAYER
O Lord Jesus,
That week is beginning, the week of your passion, the week of your greatest glory. I want to walk that week with you… I remember how you said to your disciples in the garden of Gethsemane on that Thursday night, “Could you not stay awake with me for even one hour?” I am sympathetic to their cause. I can’t even stay focused on you, much less go to the cross with you.
But I want to, God.
I want to be with you when you ride through the Eastern Gate in triumph, surrounded by children, palm branches waving and hosannas shouting.
I want to be with you when you turn over the money changers’ tables in the temple, and drive them out with your whip.
I want to be with you when you rest in Bethany, with Mary and Martha and your friends, knowing all the while what awaits you.
I want to be with you as you weep over Jerusalem and curse the fig tree for its lack of fruit.
I want to be with you in that upper room, as you wash your disciples’ feet and celebrate the Passover with them, and tell them of the new covenant and promise that it’s for them and for me.
I want to be with you in that garden as you wrestle with the anguish of what is before you.
I want to be with you with Caiaphas and Annas, those pious, holier than thou religious leaders, who send you to die without claiming responsibility.
I want to be with you with King Herod, who mocks you as weak and impotent.
I want to be with you with Pilate, who finds something of truth in you, but is still afraid to stand for the right.
I want to be with you in front of the crowd as they shout for your murder and the release of the prisoner.
I want to be with you on the scourging post, as you are beaten and mocked and humiliated.
I want to be with you on the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, as you fall.
I want to be with you as Simon of Cyrene carries your cross.
I want to be with you as you speak words of humanity and love from the cross.
And I want to be with you as you die. As Paul writes to the Philippians, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death…” (3:10)
I know I can’t walk that road with you. But let me love you for walking it for me.
I pray that this week I may know your presence each and every moment of each and every day.
KEY VERSES FOR THE WEEK
“Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” John 12:15 Read the whole text for Sunday’s sermon here: John 12:12-19
QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
When you read the words of the prophecy, that God will bring justice and peace to the earth, what do you think that really means? What does it mean to say “thy kingdom come… on earth as it is in heaven?” How does your “then” impact the way you live “now?”
SOME THOUGHTS TO SHARE
This week’s sermon is really the first of two parts: To what do Christians have to look forward? On Easter, we will deal with the apostles creed phrase “the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.” This week, we will focus on “from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” What does the culmination of history look like for you? And how does what you believe about the future impact how you live today? We as Christians have, in the words of Scripture, “a living hope.” What does that mean for you?
This week is our Palm Sunday Family picnic, beginning at 11a.m. on the Blanton Field. Egg hunts are as soon as we have most of our folks over to the field after the 11 and 11:05 a.m. services. Listen for the band to play the Bunny Hop. That is your signal to line up. Don’t miss it. Lots of fun.
And next week is Easter! At our Westheimer Campus, traditional Easter services will be at 8, 9, 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. in the Sanctuary. Encounter Worship will be at 9:15 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. The Story Houston will have a sunrise service at 7 a.m. on Blanton Field and additional services at 9:30 and 11:05 a.m. in the Activity Center. Gethsemane Campus services are at 9 and 11:15 a.m. Please note that we will have shuttle parking running all morning from the Central Market parking lot on the corner of Westheimer and Weslayan. Briar Club parking is not available on Easter. Children under five can’t ride the shuttle because of car seat laws, but drop ‘em off at the church and come back and park. It will make your life so much easier and less hectic, and it is going to be fun! Consider giving up your spot in generosity and service…
You can check out all the information about Holy Week and Easter services here: http://www.stlukesmethodist.org/easter
Sixth Sunday in lent
God, may the palm branches be for us signs of Jesus’ victory; and may we welcome and acknowledge him as our Lord. Hosanna in the highest! Amen.
Action: Pray for the children and families attending the Easter Egg hunt, and celebrate the joy that Jesus brings.
Monday | March 21
Jesus, you rode into Jerusalem on a lowly donkey; a story passed down through the ages and known as your triumphant entry. Let it remind us of your humble form of exaltation. Amen.
Action: Look up the words to the hymn, Great is Thy Faithfulness and read them with an eagerness to claim the faithfulness of God.
Tuesday | March 22
O God, you set before us Jesus, an example of humble service when he knelt down and washed the disciples’ dirty feet. Like Peter, remove our pride; wash our feet, hands and hearts with your loving grace. Amen.
Action: Send someone who may be struggling with a lack of self-confidence or worth an encouraging word.
Wednesday | March 23
Jesus, you humbled yourself in the Garden of Gethsemane and willingly submitted to your Father’s will. God, grant us the strength, courage and humility to trust you as confidently as Jesus did so long ago. Amen.
Action: Attend the Hour of Prayer and Healing Service in the Chapel at 6 p.m.
Maundy Thursday | March 24
Lord, you shared your last meal with your disciples at your table of grace, and offered them forgiveness and reconciliation. Feed us today, as we remember and celebrate your Last Supper and offer you our thanks. Amen.
Action: Think about what it would mean to share your last meal with Jesus. What would the conversation look like? Attend a Maundy Thursday service today.
Good Friday | March 25
O God, we are in awe of your sacrificial love made known to us in Jesus Christ, who died so that we might live. May we surrender and obey as Jesus, and live in a right relationship forever with you. Amen.
Action: Attend the Good Friday worship service and ask God to work in your head and heart.
Saturday | March 26
Compassionate God, today is a day of rest, of waiting and watching the tomb which has been sealed. Grant that we may see the light of the third day and rise with Jesus in newness of life. Amen.
Action: Attend Anticipation of Easter in the Chapel, then spend an hour in silence with God.