Illustrated Holy Week Devotionals at Incline Your Heart

April 2, 2012

I’m happy to see that my friend Pat Dague is posting illustrated devotionals for Holy Week at her devotional blog Incline Your Heart.

Here are some of her recent posts

The Humility of Christ

It is indeed the lowliest of all memorable processions…

Am I really what I ought to be?

Hosanna, Loud Hosanna!

Check back daily for new entries.


Music for Holy Monday

April 2, 2012

Today I’ve updated all the links included in my 2009 devotional post for Holy Monday: “Turn the Tables on Me”  which includes a short reflection plus five songs on the theme of Christ’s work of cleansing our hearts.  All five songs are now available to listen to for free on the artists’ myspace pages, so the post now includes those links.

It’s an eclectic mix of worship songs …. from a rock song by Mylon LeFevre to classics by Keith Green and John Michael Talbot and a beautiful musical prayer by Margaret Becker.

Go read, listen, and enjoy, and make some of the lyrics your own prayer for the Lord to cleanse and purify any impure areas of your heart.

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Here are the lyrics to Margaret Becker & Keith Getty’s song “O For a Heart

O FOR A HEART to serve my God;
A heart that’s ever broken to His will.
O for a heart to serve my God, my King;
A heart that’s ever delighting Him.

Oh, that I would be made pure,
That I would strive to love Him more;
That every work of my hands
Would accomplish all His plans,
So that He would be glorified.

That I would place no other above;
That I would die to lift high my God.
That every gift I enjoy
Would always be employed
In the service of my faithful Lord.


The Messiah – Keeping Him at the Center

April 2, 2012

Glen at the King’s English blog has an excellent devotional today on The Messiah.

… the Messiah is not anointed by men, but by God Himself.  This happened before the world began.  Not with oil – a symbol.  He is anointed with the Spirit Himself.  Before there was a universe God has been anointing God with God!  The Father is pouring His Spirit onto and into His Son.

Why?

So that He can be our righteous King, ruling the nations, protecting His people, executing justice.

So that He can be our faithful Priest, mercifully mediating our life with God.

So that He can be God’s truthful Prophet, bringing us the mind and heart of God.

To see the Messiah is to see the life of the Holy Spirit embodied.  And to see the Holy Spirit we look to the Anointed One in action.  He is the One filled beyond measure with the Spirit of God.

From the overflow of His life has come a whole universe.

To the overflow of His grace does the whole Bible witness.

The full devotional post is here.

Glen’s closing questions are good ones for Holy Week reflection:

Have we minimized Christ in our thinking and outlook?  Have other things distracted us from Him?  How can we return to the Centre of all things?

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Update:  Somewhat unexpectedly, I found Michael W. Smith’s Christmas song “Christ the Messiah,” from his 1989 album Christmas,  coming to mind as I reflected on Glen’s words.  But as I discovered upon listening to it, it’s VERY appropriate for Holy Week listening too!

Listen to the song “Christ the Messiah” here (myspace).


Holy Week Quotes: Pope Benedict XVI – Who is the Messiah to US?

April 2, 2012

From Pope Benedict XVI’s Palm Sunday Homily yesterday, challenging questions for reflection:

The majority, in fact, was disappointed by the way Jesus chose to present himself as Messiah and King of Israel. This is the heart of today’s feast, for us too. Who is Jesus of Nazareth for us? What idea do we have of the Messiah, what idea do we have of God? It is a crucial question, one we cannot avoid, not least because during this very week we are called to follow our King who chooses the Cross as his throne. We are called to follow a Messiah who promises us, not a facile earthly happiness, but the happiness of heaven, divine beatitude. So we must ask ourselves: what are our true expectations? What are our deepest desires, with which we have come here today to celebrate Palm Sunday and to begin our celebration of Holy Week?

The full text is here.


Holy Week Quote: From Palm Sunday to Good Friday – the crucifixion of all our false expecations

April 2, 2012

The quote below was a quote that came up when I did a google search yesterday for “Palm Sunday quotes.”  I know nothing much about the author, but this theme of the crucifying of our “false sinful expectations” as to who Jesus is and what He came to do, resonates with me.   I am so quick to try and make Jesus into my own image, to try and get Him to meet my needs and desires.   I have been convicted that too often I may “honor Him with my lips” while my “heart is far from Him” – just as the crowds on Palm Sunday did – those who cried “Hosanna!” on one day, but “Crucify Him!” just a few days later.

I pray the Lord will use this Holy Week to conform me – heart, mind, soul, understanding – into His image, that I may be steadfast in loving what He loves and in following His ways.

***

The only way you can be delivered from that sin is to have your false expectations destroyed, once and for all. And that is precisely what happened between Palm Sunday and Good Friday . Jesus drew the false, sinful expectations of the world unto himself, absorbed them, and bore them on the cross. His death was the death of all of our false expectations, and therefore his death was the death of sin itself. The false piety of Palm Sunday is crucified on Good Friday and buried that night, in order that true faith in God might be created on Easter through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Edwin Peterman

I found the quote here.


A reflection/prayer for Holy Week: Not moving too quickly from “Hosanna” to “Hallelujah”

April 2, 2012

While browsing online a bit yesterday for Holy Week prayers and reflections, I came across a blog by a Canadian pastor with a prayer / poem for Palm Sunday.  I’m posting an excerpt below.  I was particularly struck by the lines

“But in the coming hours our enthusiasm will wane, our passion will cool … We will busy ourselves with other things, … chocolates and treats, preparations for the celebrations to come …  It’s all too much for us, so we will leap from Hosannas to Hallelujahs avoiding the horrors that lie between …”

How real a temptation that is.  May the Lord help us to lay aside distractions – even the good and joyful distractions of Easter celebration preparations, that we may keep our eyes and hearts fixed on Him alone in the days of this week, “sharing in His sufferings,” even if only in tiny measure.

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Prayer for today – Palm Sunday


O Servant King,
we hear you approaching.

The clip clop of hooves grows ever louder,
the rustle of palm branches and cloaks grows urgent,
we hear you coming, but we are not ready …

Our expectations are not yours,
what we want differs from what you offer,
we want a Triumphant entry into the city,
we want victory and rejoicing
we want to feel the surge of Holiness …

But in the coming hours our enthusiasm will wane,
our passion will cool
our cheers will turn to jeers
and like your disciples we too will abandon you …

We will busy ourselves with other things,
plans for the long weekend,
dinners and gatherings,
chocolates and treats,
preparations for the celebrations to come …

And we’ll forget the long dark days
we’ll avoid the shadowy places,
we’ll stay clear of the loneliness and suffering.

It’s all too much for us,
so we will leap from Hosannas to Hallelujahs
avoiding the horrors that lie between …

Forgive us O God,
Forgive us and love us despite our shortsightedness.

Be with us today, and in the coming days,
let us hear the gentle clip clop of hooves on the stones,
let us hear the shuffle of sandals in the dusty streets
let us hear the echo of shouts in the halls and courtyards
let us hear the thunderous silence of your disciples,
let us hear the bloody thwack of whips, slaps and suffering
let us hear, even if we stop our ears,
the events and happenings in the streets …

The full blog post is here.


From our Archives (2007): Prayers & Reflections for Monday of Holy Week

April 2, 2012

As many of our long-time readers will know, Lent & Beyond began in 2004, but our archives for 2004 – 2007 have largely been lost.  I have been able to dig up some of our old Holy Week entries using the Wayback Machine internet archive, and will be reposting them this year, in addition to posting new Holy Week devotionals for 2012. (I’ve tried to make sure all the links are current and work, but some may be broken.  My apologies.)

***

Lent Prayers: A Prayer for Holy Monday

Morning Prayer for Holy Monday

God whose word cannot be broken:
with Jerusalem we are stunned this Holy Week.
Like a city overcome with sudden devastation,
we are swept up in the confusion and desolation,
wondering what is happening.

Liturgy, Scripture, and song immerse us in the river that flows to betrayal and the cross. The gospel we have tried to make manageable has overturned our tables of control. The sufferings of Jesus that we try to avoid engulf us. The fruitless fig tree withers before the majesty of one whose mission is relentless and uncompromised.

Help us with all of your church to watch and pray, to behold anew the unfolding scandal and the ragged good news of salvation. Behold with mercy the agonies of the world where the suffering of Jesus is being completed, both then and now.

Let the Via Dolorosa for us be both acts of devotion and worship and of compassion and justice, so that Christ’s abundant sufferings become the world’s abundant consolations.

From a United Methodist website with prayers for each day of Holy Week [link is broken and I can’t find a cached version]

Art Credit: Web Gallery of Art. Luca Giordano, Christ Cleansing the Temple

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More prayers & reflections for Holy Monday follow.  Keep reading….!

Read the rest of this entry »


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