Holy Week Readings for Monday with a reflection from John
Holy Week Bible Readings: Monday
The lovely thing about the Bible is that as we read it reflectively, open to God, we will find things in it which inspire, nourish and challenge us. We will each find different things, we will each find the things we need to hear today.
There’s theology in these passages – about the bigness of God, the love and tenderness of God, God’s fierce commitment to justice, God’s promise to restore justice to a broken world, Jesus death through which the barriers between us and God are removed. Some of us may need theology this morning, but not theology as an end in itself, but theology as a portal through which our hearts are once again awakened to God.
There is abundant comfort in these passages. For example: God says to the Christian family as God said to Israel ‘I will take hold of your hand.’ (Isaiah 42:6); ‘How priceless is your unfailing love’ (Psalm 36:7); each one of us can ‘find refuge in the shadow of [God’s] wings’ (Psalm 36:7); through the sacrifice of Jesus, consciences can be washed clear as we are set free ‘to serve the living God’ (Hebrews 9:11-15)
But read them for yourselves! Don’t be put off by the more technical bits in the Hebrews passage! Read, meditate, reflect, turn the implications of what you have read round in your mind. Let the spring well up within you, let the whisper of God address your deepest self.
What grabbed my imagination this morning – and it shows how individual this process of listening to scripture is – we’re told that the crowd ‘came….also to see Lazarus whom [Jesus] has raised from the dead.’ (John12:9) Jesus was at his friends’ house in Bethany, and folk flocked there to see, not just him, but Lazarus.
I was having a wee read through these passages, and thinking ‘Well, I could write something about them, but I don’t really know what to say. And in any case, perhaps if I published a wee reflection on them I’d just be boosting my own ego rather than serving others.’
So I decided not to. But then someone messaged on Facebook asking for a list of today’s passages, and I sent them off, and thought ‘Well, maybe I could put them on Facebook too.’ And as I started getting the links on google the phrase about Lazarus flashed into my mind.
The lesson for me was this – Lazarus didn’t need to do anything particular. He just had to be there, to be what Jesus had made him, to live the life Jesus had given him. My own emphasis can be so on the doing thing. But I realized again that all I need to do is to be – to be what the Spirit of God has called me to be – and to let any doing flow from that.
So that’s my lesson for the day. Live today as the person Jesus makes you to be. Don’t live the bitterness and fear, live the love and hope.
But the important thing is to read and listen for yourself! And if, at the end of it, you hear nothing, don’t worry. That’s OK. It’s not your fault. It’s not God’s fault. Perhaps God is saying to you ‘Even though I seem silent, I am still with you. My hand is in yours. Above you, the shelter of my wings.’