On Preparing for Easter

Holy Week is upon us, perhaps bringing the thought of Palm Sunday, Good Friday, or Easter to your mind. I wonder, though, if any of us think of Maundy Thursday, that just before Good Friday? Maundy Thursday recalls the Passover that Jesus shared with his disciples, which we often refer to as The Last Supper (recorded in John 13). The word “Maundy” comes from the Latin word for “command,” referencing the command Jesus gave to the disciples at the Supper,

“Love one another.
As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Simon Peter asks Jesus where He is going.

“Where I am going you cannot follow me now,
but you will follow afterward.”

Just before this, Jesus has washed his disciples’ feet, which would customarily have been done by a servant. He has also led them in the inaugural observance of communion.

“This is My body, broken for you.
This is My blood, shed for you.”

Can you imagine the disciples’ confusion?

Keep reading at Sparrow Conference.

easter sunday/resurrection day + eastertide.

On January 1, I announced a new blog series here at Joy Woven Deep. If you haven’t seen that post yet, I encourage you to check it out, then come on back and join in the journey.

Easter Sunday/Resurrection Day + Eastertide

What’s this holy day + season all about?
Rejoice! He is Risen! Easter Sunday is the day we remember Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” visiting the tomb to honor the body of Jesus and finding no body there, but an angel instead. An angel who said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” They remembered and believed, and rushed away to tell the apostles.

“The season of Easter, also called Eastertide, is the seven weeks after Easter, sometimes called “The Great 50 Days” ending in the day of Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Church.” (citation)

What Holy Days are a part of the Season of Eastertide?
Easter Sunday – March 27
Annunciation of the Lord – April 4
Ascension of the Lord – May 5
Pentecost – May 15

What’s the history of this observance?
“There is evidence that Christians originally celebrated the resurrection of Christ every Sunday, with observances such as Scripture readings, psalms, the Eucharist, and a prohibition against kneeling in prayer. At some point in the first two centuries, however, it became customary to celebrate the resurrection specially on one day each year. Many of the religious observances of this celebration were taken from the Jewish Passover.” (citation)

What’s it to me?
I wrote “this day is everything to us” in response to this question on the Good Friday post. If Friday is everything, Sunday is the fullness of everything. Not only has our sin been paid for, it has been triumphed over. Death is swallowed up in the victory of Christ’s resurrection. We have confidence now that our pain truly is temporary, that though the dark night lingers long, it does not loom forever. The strongest forces of this world have no true power over us, because we are in Jesus Christ, and He has over come them. He is risen, indeed.

So, boil it down for me, would you?
Easter/Resurrection Sunday commemorates the day when Jesus’ tomb was found empty. When, as my three-year-old says, we remember that “HE’S ALIVE AGAIN!”

So, how could we observe it?

Read the Daily Office texts here or via this app.

Read the Lectionary texts and liturgy, and pray the Collects for Easter Sunday.

Celebrate the fulfillment of prophecy in the resurrection of Christ in the last day of our Holy week Devotional. Click to have Deep & Lowly: taking refuge in the Suffering Servant emailed to you, and keep it as a resource for future Holy Weeks..

Read Jerusalem Greer’s Holy Week ideas from last year (family friendly).

Celebrate! Gather with friends, family, roommates or members of your church to feast together and rejoice in the truth of the Risen Savior. Share stories from your life of His victory over your pain or sin. Give thanks that the Resurrection gives us hope that He has come and He is coming again.

Download the Sacred Ordinary Days Essentials Workbook and grow in your understanding of Easter through the one page summary. Then use the workbook pages to reflect on the past season and reset for the remainder of the season of Lent.

Add touches of gold + white to your home through decor, flowers or candles. “White and gold are used for Easter, symbolizing the joy of resurrection and the brightness of the day where death is overcome and through which we are invited into new life.” (citation)

For kids: Make Empty Tomb Rolls. Where is Jesus? Magic Watercolor Art. Read the resurrection account from the Jesus Storybook Bible or other children’s bible. Act out the resurrection account together.

Create a playlist from songs we’ve been gathering on the Facebook page, where we asked what people were they have been listening to in order to orient their hearts during Holy Week.

Suggestions:
Death Was Arrested by Gwinnett Worship
Oh the Blood by Kari Jobe
Power of the Cross by Natalie Grant
High Noon by Andrew Peterson
Christ is Risen by Matt Maher
This I Believe, Our Father & Calvary by Hillsong Worship
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Hallelujah! What a Savior


I would love for you to join the conversation. Would you add your voice to the conversation via blog post comments or on the Facebook page and share your thoughts on these questions with us?

What are your ideas for observing Holy Week + Easter Sunday/Eastertide?

Which components of exploring liturgy and the Christian calendar are you thinking about this week?

Is this series serving you well? What are you enjoying? How could it improve?

From Him | Through Him | To Him,
signature 3

good friday.

On January 1, I announced a new blog series here at Joy Woven Deep. If you haven’t seen that post yet, I encourage you to check it out, then come on back and join in the journey.

Good Friday

What’s this holy day all about?
Good Friday marks the day when the Jewish religious leaders demanded that the Roman officials kill Jesus. Based on what the Jewish leaders believed to be blasphemy (Jesus’ claim to be God) and the Roman officials’ belief that He was a threat to their government (due to Jesus’ claim to be King), they convicted Him and sentenced Him to death. Jesus was beaten, flogged, scorned, given a crown of thorns, and nailed to a cross. As He was dying, He invited the thief hanging on the cross next to Him into paradise; He fulfilled prophecy; He claimed “it is finished.” On Good Friday, most simply, we remember Christ crucified (John 18-19).

What’s the history of this observance?
There are records of Good Friday observances as early as the 4th century. The holy day eventually became known as a day of fasting and penance. Historically, many Christians have observed Good Friday by commemorating the “Stations of the Cross,” which is a series of fourteen events surrounding Christ’s death. It is also traditional to venerate a cross in a ceremony.

What’s it to me?
Everything. This day is everything to us. This is the day that we nailed him to the tree, the day that our sin and the brokenness of this world lost its power over us because the blood of the perfect Lamb was spilled. “It is finished,” Jesus said, just before He died. That’s what this day is to us. It is the day where all that we owed was paid, where all the sin and chaos we started was finished. This is the day we each deserved to face ourselves, yet our burden has been carried instead.

So, boil it down for me, would you?
Good Friday commemorates the day when Jesus was crucified and killed at the hands of jealous Jewish religious leaders, Roman government officials, and, ultimately, each of us. This is the day of the Lamb of God, the sacrificed One, Who takes away the sins of the world.

So, how could we observe it?

Read the Daily Office texts here or via this app.

Read the Lectionary texts.

Read + pray the liturgy for Good Friday.

It’s not too late to join us for an the remainder of our Holy Week journey through a simple devotional. Click to have Deep & Lowly: taking refuge in the Suffering Servant emailed to you.

Read Jerusalem Greer’s Holy Week ideas from last year (family friendly).

Attend a Stations of the Cross and/or Good Friday service at your church or in your community.

Download the Sacred Ordinary Days Essentials Workbook and grow in your understanding of Lent + Holy Week through the one page summary. Then use the workbook pages to reflect on the past season and reset for the remainder of the season of Lent.

Add touches of purple (reminds us of Christ’s painful death and His royalty) and red (reminds us of Jesus’ shedding of blood) to your home through decor, flowers or candles.

Reflect upon the debt that was paid for you at the cross, and give thanks to the One Who loved you so much that He paid it.

For kids: Bake a hot cross bun together. Braid yarn or string to make a Triduum Bracelet. Read an account of Christ’s crucifixion from the Jesus Storybook Bible or other children’s Bible.

Create a playlist from songs we’ve been gathering on the Facebook page, where we asked what people were they have been listening to in order to orient their hearts during Holy Week.

Suggestions:
Death Was Arrested by Gwinnett Worship
Oh the Blood by Kari Jobe
Power of the Cross by Natalie Grant
High Noon by Andrew Peterson
Christ is Risen by Matt Maher
This I Believe, Our Father & Calvary by Hillsong Worship
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
There is a Fountain Filled with Blood
Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy
Hallelujah! What a Savior


I would love for you to join the conversation. Would you add your voice to the conversation via blog post comments or on the Facebook page and share your thoughts on these questions with us?

What are your ideas for observing Holy Week + Maundy Thursday?

Which components of exploring liturgy and the Christian calendar are you thinking about this week?

Is this series serving you well? What are you enjoying? How could it improve?

From Him | Through Him | To Him,
signature 3

maundy thursday.

On January 1, I announced a new blog series here at Joy Woven Deep. If you haven’t seen that post yet, I encourage you to check it out, then come on back and join in the journey. 

Maundy Thursday
(also called “Holy Thursday”)

What’s this holy day all about?
On Maundy Thursday we reflect upon Jesus’ observance of Passover with His disciples (recorded in Matthew 26). “The word Maundy is derived from the Latin word for ‘command.’ The ‘Maundy’ in ‘Maundy Thursday’ refers to the command Jesus gave to the disciples at the Last Supper, that they should love and serve one another” (citation). The two major components of our remembrance are the institution of Communion/The Lord’s Supper and Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.

What’s the history of this observance?
There are records of Maundy Thursday celebrations from the Middle Ages, and, while Maundy Thursday is certainly a special observance all its own, there is a sense in which we observe it each time we take communion and remember Jesus’ last supper with His disciples.

What’s it to me?
This passage puts us face to face with the truths Jesus deemed most important to impart to those closest to Him before He walked the road to the cross. “Remember me,” He said, and “love one another as I have loved you.” Those commands are so simple in their wording, yet I find them to be so difficult in their application sometimes. I overcomplicate; I refuse to walk into the small and simple ways of remembering, of loving. Maundy Thursday calls us away from all of our cultural and personal attempts to add to Christianity, leading us back to a faith centered around the person, work and words of Jesus Christ.

So, boil it down for me, would you?
Maundy Thursday represents the day when Jesus observed the Passover/had The Last Supper with His disciples. It is here that He commanded his disciples to love one another as He had loved them, instituted communion and washed His disciples feet. Maundy Thursday beckons us to remember intentionally and love sacrificially.

So, how could we observe it?

Read the Daily Office texts here or via this app.

Read the Lectionary texts.

Pray the “Collect” for Maundy Thursday.

It’s not too late to join us for an 8-day Holy Week journey through a simple devotional. Click to have Deep & Lowly: taking refuge in the Suffering Servant emailed to you.

Read Jerusalem Greer’s Holy Week ideas from last year (family friendly).

Host a Passover Seder with friends or your family. If that’s too much to pull off this year, file this away for next year and perhaps look through it and choose one component to talk about at dinner tonight.

Download the Sacred Ordinary Days Essentials Workbook and grow in your understanding of Lent + Holy Week through the one page summary. Then use the workbook pages to reflect on the past season and reset for the remainder of the season of Lent.

Add touches of purple (reminds us of Christ’s painful death and His royalty) and red (reminds us of Jesus’ shedding of blood) to your home through decor, flowers or candles.

Take a moment to write down a few areas of Christian life and/or ministry where you are tempted to be distracted from the foundational principles of remembering intentionally and loving well. Ask the Spirit to make you sensitive to those distractions and to remind you of the person, work and words of Jesus spoken at the Last Supper.

For kids: Put together a simple craft, or choose a “love one another” coloring page, and share the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.

I would love for you to join the conversation. Would you add your voice to the conversation via blog post comments or on my new Facebook page and share your thoughts on these questions with us?


What are your ideas for observing Holy Week + Maundy Thursday?

Which components of exploring liturgy and the Christian calendar are you thinking about this week?

Is this series serving you well? What are you enjoying? How could it improve?

From Him | Through Him | To Him,
signature 3

Holy Week + Palm Sunday

 On January 1, I announced a new blog series here at Joy Woven Deep. If you haven’t seen that post yet, I encourage you to check it out, then come on back and join in the journey.

Holy Week | Palm Sunday

What is the time span of the season? Holy Week is the final week of Lent, beginning with Palm Sunday, which is the Sunday prior to Easter. Holy days include:

Palm Sunday – March 20
Maundy Thursday – March 24
Good Friday – March 25
Holy Saturday –  March 26

What’s this week + holy day all about?
Holy Week marks the week of Christ’s journey toward the cross, beginning with The Triumphal Entry/Palm Sunday, which we observe today (and is recorded in Matthew 21). By riding into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, Jesus fulfilled Zechariah’s prophecy recorded in Zechariah 9:9.

“The large company of pilgrims, mainly from Galilee, were acknowledging Jesus as a King by “spreading” their coats on “the road” before Him (cf. 2 Kings 9:13). Likewise, throwing small “branches from the trees” before Him symbolized the same thing (cf. 1 Macc. 13:51; 2 Macc. 10:7).

Rulers rode donkeys in Israel during times of peace (Judg. 5:10; 1 Kings 1:33). This was a sign of their humble service to the people. Warriors rode horses. Jesus was preparing to declare His messiahship by fulfilling this messianic prophecy. By coming in peace, He was extending grace rather than judgment to the city. He was coming as a servant now. He would return as a conquering King riding on a war horse later (cf. Rev. 19:11).

Jesus rode on the “colt” (a young male donkey), not on its mother, the donkey (Mark 11:2; Luke 19:30). It would have been remarkable that Jesus was able to control a presumably unbroken animal, moving through an excited crowd with an unfamiliar burden on its back. This was just one more demonstration that Jesus was the Messiah who was the master of nature (cf. 8:23-27; 14:22-32). Surely He could bring peace to Israel if He could calm the young colt (Isa. 11:1-10).”
– Dr. Tom Constable

What’s the history of this observance?
There are records of Palm Sunday observances taking place as early as the 4th century, marked by a procession and in the 8th century, a blessing of the palms. – Church Year

What’s it to me?
As Jesus rode in on the donkey, the crowd shouted, “Hosanna!, which means, “save us now!” This challenges me to consider what I demand of Him, to realize how often it is relief now, peace now, comfort now. Jesus has come to give relief and peace; He is the One, True Comfort, but I am so rarely willing to wait, to let my definitions be rewritten in His terms. Palm Sunday prompts my heart to recognize Who Jesus really is and what that means for my life, instead of demanding that He conform to my desires.

So, boil it down for me, would you?
Palm Sunday observes the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey. The Jewish crowd seemed to recognize Him as King, as they laid their coats and palm branches in His pathway and called for Him to save them. The Triumphal Entry was a specific fulfillment of a messianic prophecy, a fulfillment which communicates loud and clear – Christ is King.

So, how could we observe it?

Read the Daily Office texts here or via this app.

Read the Lectionary texts.

Read & pray the “liturgy & litany” for Palm Sunday.

Join us for an 8-day journey through a simple devotional. Click to have Deep & Lowly: taking refuge in the Suffering Servant emailed to you.

Read Jerusalem Greer’s Holy Week ideas from last year (family friendly).

Download the Sacred Ordinary Days Essentials Workbook and grow in your understanding of Lent + Holy Week through the one page summary. Then use the workbook pages to reflect on the past season and reset for the remainder of the season of Lent.

Add touches of purple (reminds us of Christ’s painful death and His royalty) and red (reminds us of Jesus’ shedding of blood) to your home through decor, flowers or candles.

Consider the places in your life where you want Jesus’ rescue now, where patience and long-suffering seem so hard to come by. Ask Him to draw you to a place of deeper trust and awareness of His sympathy this week as you ponder His own journey of suffering.

For kids: Read this version of the account of the Triumphal Entry. Make a palm frond, or a donkey.

I would love for you to join the conversation. Would you add your voice to the conversation via blog post comments or on my new Facebook page and share your thoughts on these questions with us?


What are your ideas for observing Holy Week + Palm Sunday?

Which components of exploring liturgy and the Christian calendar are you thinking about this week?

Is this series serving you well? What are you enjoying? How could it improve?

From Him | Through Him | To Him,
signature 3