What He Did…
by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
I still cannot believe what He did.
This is Holy Week. It began a few days ago as Christians all around the world celebrated Palm Sunday – a commemoration of that day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers and adulation of crowds waving palm branches and singing “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord.”
In mere days those cheers turned into the jeers of angry crowds shouting “Crucify Him.”
I can relate to fickleness. Even in my faith life. Most of the time I am gregarious and sold out for God, eager to play my small role in helping to further His kingdom. But sometimes my celebration turns into complaint, my litany into lethargy. While I don’t actually yell “Crucify Him” I do occasionally fall asleep in the garden…
How about you? What do you do in response to what He did? For us. In the Garden. On the Cross. At the Open Tomb.
In these next days we are called to Remember. To commemorate What He Did. I have gathered some favorite prayers and hymns and scripture to guide my journey through the Trisiduum (3 days) and hope you will join me in this Holy Time.
MAUNDY THURSDAY – April 2, 2015
Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is also the night on which Jesus was betrayed by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane. The English word “Maundy” is derived from a Latin word meaning “mandate.” This refers to Christ’s words when he was explaining to His disciples in the Upper Room the significance of washing their feet, “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you.” (John 13.34) As we remember this mandate to love, how will we respond?
“Lord, How often when weary do we sigh ‘The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.’ How often when in prayer are thoughts distracted by sounds or circumstance or prayers diverted by trivial concerns. Baggage carried with us rather than left at Your feet. How often do we find ourselves apologizing to you for our abbreviated prayer life. And yet You draw us still to be in Your presence as You did the disciples at Gethsemane. You want us to share in Your life to play our part. You told your disciples to watch and pray so that they might not fall into temptation. Do You ask the same of us and do we also fail You each time we whisper ‘The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.’ Grant us the strength, Lord of body and of spirit, to offer You the sacrifice of our lives. Amen.” (faithandworship.com)
GOOD FRIDAY – April 3, 2015
Good Friday is the day we remember the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The hours of noon to 3 p.m. are particularly significant as these commemorate the time Jesus hung on the cross. It is a somber day and many choose to wear black to symbolize darkness and mourning.
- “Most dear Jesus, condemned to death by an unjust Council, taken as an evildoer before Pilate, and ridiculed by the wicked Herod, have mercy on us, O Lord.
- Most dear Jesus, publicly shorn of your garments, and most cruelly scourged at the pillar, have mercy on us, O Lord.
- Most dear Jesus, crowned with thorns, beaten and blindfolded, clothed in rich purple and mocked, have mercy on us, O Lord.
- Most dear Jesus, likened to the infamous Barabbas, rejected by your people, and unjustly sentenced to death, have mercy on us, O Lord.
- Most dear Jesus, burdened with the weight of the Cross and led to the place of execution like a lamb to the slaughter, have mercy on us, O Lord.
- Most dear Jesus, reckoned with the wicked, blasphemed, and derided, and given gall to drink to mitigate your pain, have mercy on us, O Lord.
- Most dear Jesus, dying on the Cross, pierced with a lance that drew blood and water from your side, have mercy on us, O Lord.
- Most dear Jesus, horribly bruised and marked with wounds, anointed for burial and placed in a tomb, have mercy on us, O Lord.
- My Jesus, I thank you for dying on the Cross for my sins. Have mercy on us, O Lord. Amen.”
HOLY SATURDAY – April 4, 2015
This is a day to behold the body of Jesus in the tomb today, and to contemplate the mystery of our death in preparation for our hearts to receive the Good News of life. We know that tomb will be empty and remain empty forever as a sign that our lives will not really end, but only be transformed. Our reflection on this Holy Saturday, and our anticipation of celebrating the gift of Life tomorrow, can bring immense peace and joy, powerful freedom and vitality to our lives. For if we truly believe that death holds no true power over us, we can walk each day in the grace being offered us – to give our lives away in love.
“For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with Him in his death, we will also be raised to life as He was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with Him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and He will never die again. Death no longer has any power over Him. When He died, He died once to break the power of sin. But now that He lives, He lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6.4-11)
EASTER SUNDAY – April 5, 2015
Could there be any more hopeful and extraordinary words ever uttered on an early Sunday morning? Do you believe them? That Christ is Alive? And that He wants to fill you and me with His Life – empowering us to live as “Easter People” every single day?
“Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are His forever and ever. Amen.”
(Hippolytus of Rome, AD 190-236)
“Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.” (hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” by Isaac Watts) Today will I yet again surrender to the Risen Christ…
- My soul?
- My life?
- My all?
“O You Who Comes, Who are the hope of the world, give us hope. Give us hope that beyond the worst the world can do there is such a best that not even the world can take it from us, hope that none whom You have loved is ever finally lost, not even to death.
O You Who Died in loneliness and pain, suffer to die in us all that keeps us from You and from each other and from becoming as good and as brave as we are called to become. O Lamb of God, forgive us.
O You Who Rose Again, You Holy Spirit of Christ, arise and live within us now, that we may be Your body, that we may be Your feet to walk in the world’s pain, Your hands to heal, Your heart to break, if need must be, for love of the world. O Risen Christ, make Christs of us all. Amen.” (Frederich Buechner)
under the mercy, Cindy
©2015 Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Amazon author site amazon.com/author/lucindasecrestmcdowell
NOTE: Did you enjoy this blog? If so, would you consider entering your email in the above right form and subscribing to it by email? I assure you I won’t overload your in-box, but would love to send you these ‘encouraging words’ each Wednesday. Thanks!