As human beings, we have a strong innate desire for self-justification. Even as Christians, we have a tendency toward interpreting God’s commands as our work to earn his approval. That is why we need to constantly look to the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, the work that he did for our justification. And although we should make this a daily habit, the church calendar provides for us occasions to do this in a more focused way. Holy Week is perhaps the most central for this end.
Holy Week is the week beginning on Palm Sunday, where Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the praise of his people—climaxing on Good Friday where Jesus was executed outside of the city by the disdain of the same people—and culminating on Easter Sunday when Jesus rose from the grave.
As we enter into Holy Week, we are encouraging people to reflect on the meaning of each day during this important week in the life of Jesus by following a devotional plan which includes 1) a spiritual discipline 2) readings, and 3) a video commentary for each day.
For some of you this devotional scheme will be a nice addition to your existing daily devotional plan. For others, this might be the start of a devotional plan. Either way we encourage you to enter into this wholeheartedly. If you are married, you might decide to do these together with your spouse, or as the family devotion with your children, or with a friend or small group.
Enjoy the devotional! We pray your anticipation for Resurrection Sunday grows each day this week.
Join the UCC prayer meeting at 17:15 at the UCC Office. Alternatively, pray for 10-15 minutes at home for the Easter service and for fresh insights from God on the meaning and application of the events of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection this week.
Reading: Matthew 21:1–11, Mark 11:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, John 12:9–19
Choose one of the following Scripture passages and meditate on it for 10-15 minutes. To learn more about what we mean by “meditation,” here are some helpful tips.
Reading: Matthew 21:23–26:5, Mark 11:27–14:2, Luke 20:1–22:2, John 12:37–50
Join a church-wide fast for the entire day, or alternatively just for lunch. Use those times when you would typically eat for prayer. Pray especially for the Easter service, for guests, and for opportunities to invite non-Christians.
Reading: Matthew 26:6–16, Mark 14:3–11, Luke 22:3–6
On Maundy Thursday, join a night of Prayer and Praise at Annankatu 7 (the UCC Helsinki site) as we reflect on the night Jesus’ was betrayed. We will take the Lord’s Supper together.
Reading: Matthew 26:17–75, Mark 14:12–72, Luke 22:7–71, John 13:1–18:27
Spend some time, perhaps at lunch, in confession of sin as you reflect on Jesus at the cross. Consider using and praying through Psalm 51 or 1 John 1:5-8.
Reading: Matthew 27:1–61, Mark 15:1–47, Luke 23:1–56, John 18:28–19:42
Pray for those coming to the UCC Easter service. Then invite three people—whether friends, neighbors, colleagues, or strangers, to the service.
Reading: Matthew 27:62–66
Come celebrate the resurrection on Easter Sunday with us!
Reading: Matthew 28:1–20, Mark 16:1–8, Luke 24:1–53, John 20:1–21:25