Psalm 118: 1-2, 19-29
This psalm belongs to the feast of Tabernacles with verses 1-4 being a thanksgiving of the people while 5-21 are an individual thanksgiving and 22-29 are a mixture of motives.
What is important is that the Psalm is performed at the temple gate and it is not hard to imagine Jesus joining the procession that was going to the temple for a festival rather than the people specifically cheering for Jesus. As with so many instances the gospel writer is using tradition to express meaning about Jesus rather than give historical detail as we might expect.
Continue reading Palm Sunday
Introduction to Bible Readings
I invite you to connect with the resurrection reading using your imagination. Take a few moments to imagine how that morning might have engaged your senses of smell, sight, taste, touch, and hearing.
- What sounds might you have heard that morning?
- What scents and aromas would have been in the air?
- What taste might have been in your mouth?
- What might you have touched that morning?
- What sights would you have seen at the tomb?
Prayer of Illumination
Kia inoi tatou, Let us pray;
Jesus, we do not always find it easy to recognise you, especially when we do not expect you.
Help us to understand you now in the scripture.
Set our heavy hearts on fire with love for you, and send us on our way rejoicing.
In your name.
Continue reading ‘Jesus has gone! ?’
(You are invited to look at your hands)
As we look at our hands, we can see some of our life’s story etched on them: cared for, pampered, blemished, scarred, or out of shape, they tell some of our history. We also use hands as an image of ourselves, our actions, and attitudes, what we take and how we trust. Hands are part of this Good Friday story. May God’s Spirit touch our hands, our heads, and our hearts as we share this story again.
Reading 1: John 18:28–32
Jesus before Pilate
28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to Pilate’s headquarters.[a] It was early in the morning. They themselves did not enter the headquarters,[b] so as to avoid ritual defilement and to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered, “If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” The Jews replied, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death.” 32 (This was to fulfill what Jesus had said when he indicated the kind of death he was to die.)
Reflection 1: The religious leaders of Jesus’ day worked hard to keep their laws and sometimes used it as excuse not to help people. Trying to keep their hands clean meant not getting involved.
We look at our own hands: clean from our morning shower, perhaps, or maybe there are still marks on them and dirt under our nails. We give thanks for our working days, the daily tasks we do to earn our living and run our homes; we are grateful to those who give us a hand, and we acknowledge that we live in community and often work with others.
Continue reading Hands- Good Friday 2022
Today we’ve heard two versions of another story that’s familiar to many of us – the story of a woman who anointed Jesus. And I have to say that it’s a story that’s often mis-read, misinterpreted, and mis-remembered. We can be so much influenced by familiarity, or by what we thought we learned in Sunday School or Bible Class, that we can miss deeper and richer meanings.
How many of you remember best the version that says the woman was a sinner? How many of you have heard the story interpreted in a way that goes so far as to label the woman as a prostitute? How many of you have heard versions – or seen paintings – where the woman is indentified as Mary of Magdala – Mary Magdalene? I could answer ‘yes’ to all of those questions. And some of those interpretations can lead us down some very strange paths. Continue reading The woman with the alabaster jar.