A Final Journey – Holy Week Meditation

All Age Meditation – Palm/Passion Sunday, the 2nd April 2023

On Palm Sunday Jesus journeys into Jerusalem. As he enters the gate of the city he starts a journey we now call Holy Week. It is no easy voyage. We too are invited to travel through these days ahead until we meet again here at church on Easter Sunday.

But what do we need for a journey?
Right: A Suitcase!

The Holy Week Suitcase is packed full with the events that are recorded in the four gospels, events that happened that fateful week. We’ll unpack them together and will find, that there is lots to see and discover.

Not everything will speak to everyone, and that’s ok. But perhaps there is one little detail, one incident, that touches you. Do take this thought with you into the coming week and let it do it’s work in your heart, mind and life.

The Triumphant Entry

  • Symbol: a palm branch

Jesus approaches Jerusalem.
There are people by the roadside.
They shout and cheer.
There are palm branches.
There is excitement in the air.

Jesus rides on a donkey.
He seems to be a hero.
He resembles a servant.
He looks at the crowds
With eyes of divine love.

I wonder if the people knew who Jesus was.
I wonder what he was thinking and feeling.
I wonder who my heroes are.

The Cleansing of the Temple

  • Symbol: a wallet filled with money

Jesus enters Jerusalem.
He goes straight to the temple.
There are merchants selling animals.
There are bankers changing money.
There is hustle and bustle all around.

Jesus gets angry:
The temple is not a market hall!
He overturns tables.
He heals people with disabilities.
Children sing about his love.

I wonder what it felt like to be at the temple that day.
I wonder what people were thinking.
I wonder which sacred space Jesus wants to clear in my life.

The Anointing at Bettany

  • Symbol: small bottle of anointing oil

Jesus stays overnight in a village nearby.
There is dinner prepared.
There is a woman bringing expensive oil.
She pours it on Jesus’ feet and wipes them with her hair.
There is a beautiful fragrance in the air.

Jesus defends the woman:
He confronts her critics.
and praises her act of kindness.
He talks about his impending death.
He cherishes her love.

I wonder why the woman did what she did.
I wonder if the dinner guests felt awkward and embarrassed.
I wonder whose acts of worship I look down on.

Encounters in Jerusalem

  • Symbols: a small sack of seeds, a small sack of coins, figurines of a bridal couple

Jesus walks the streets of Jerusalem.
He stops to talk to the people.
There are visitors from many different countries.
There are the rich & poor, the young & old.
Some tired, some confused, some excited.

Jesus tells stories:
about God, about people, about himself.
He talks about seeds that die and sprout,
about planting vineyards and paying taxes,
about wedding feasts and about love.

I wonder what people made of those stories.
I wonder who remembered them for the rest of their lives.
I wonder which story will touch my heart this coming week.

The Washing of the Feet

  • Symbols: a bowl, water bottle and towel

Jesus enters an upper room.
There is a table set with food and drink.
There are his friends:
worried, tired and weary.
There is a bowl with water and a towel.

Jesus washes his friends’ feet:
He soaks them in clean water
and wipes off the dust.
He assures them of his love
and shows them how to love others.

I wonder how dirty these feet must have been.
I wonder how Jesus’ friends felt.
I wonder whom I’m called to show kindness.

The Passover Meal

  • Symbols: a piece of bread and some wine

Jesus reclines at the table.
There is bread and wine.
It is an important feast day.
There are his companions of many years.
There is apprehension in the air.

Jesus says, “This is my body.”
and hands the bread to his friends.
He says, “This is my blood.”
and passes the cup around.
He offers this meal in love.

I wonder what the bread and wine tasted like.
I wonder if there was chatter or silence.
I wonder what sharing food and drink really means.

The Mount of Olives

  • Symbol: a plant

Jesus walks out into the night.
There is an old garden.
There are his tired friends,
all but one.
There are olives trees in the dark.

Jesus kneels to pray.
He is scared.
He weeps and sweats.
He needs his friends,
and craves his Father’s love.

I wonder if Jesus felt alone.
I wonder how long he stayed there.
I wonder whom I need to sit or kneel with.

The Arrest

  • Symbol: a rope

Jesus hears noises.
There are rattling armours and weapons.
There are torches.
There is his lost friend
approaching in the dark.

Jesus feels a kiss on his cheek
and ropes on his wrists.
He speaks calming words.
He is led away.
He offers himself in love.

I wonder what failing your friend feels like.
I wonder how far the prisoner was made to walk.
I wonder where I let others down.

The Denial

  • Symbol: a rooster

Jesus has been arrested.
There are thick walls.
There is a courtyard with a fire.
There are soldiers and servants,
and there’s his best friend.

Jesus knows him inside out.
He hears his words of denial.
He recognises the rooster’s crow
and sees the shamed face.
He loves the one who’s weeping now.

I wonder if Jesus was surprised.
I wonder what Peter did next.
I wonder when I choose comfort over love.

The Trial

  • Symbol: a crown of thorns

Jesus is tried.
There is a crown made of thorns
and a purple robe.
There is laughter and shouts.
There are chiefs and rulers.

Jesus is hurting.
He speaks up and is silent.
He is mocked and beaten.
He endures, suffers
and still loves.

I wonder about personal and political pressures that day.
I wonder if it felt a long night.
I wonder whom I falsely accuse.

The Crucifixion

  • Symbol: a cross

Jesus carries his cross.
There are people lining the road.
There is shouting and weeping.
When his strength fails
there is someone to help.

Jesus is crucified.
He speaks to his mother
and cares for a criminal.
He forgives, and dies.
He is all love.

I wonder…

The Burial

  • Symbol: white cloths

Jesus is dead.
There are people at the cross.
There is a ladder
and burial cloths.
There is an eerie silence.

Jesus’ body is taken down.
He is wrapped in cloths
and taken to a tomb.
He is laid to rest.
The one who is love.

Christine Ghinn

2nd April 2023

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