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    Anticipating Holy Week – Preparing Through Lent

      We are in the middle of the Lenten season. Lent– in the traditional Church Calendar begins with Ash Wednesday – being reminded with the ashes of our mortality. Genesis 3:19 “for dust you are and to dust you will return”…and continues through 40 days before Easter. It is a season of reflecting, recalibrating, returning – accompanying Jesus to the cross on Good Friday then, as Holy Week concludes, celebrating His resurrection on Easter Sunday. As we consider this Easter story, a lamb appears in God’s narrative toward the beginning, throughout and is present at the conclusion.  The lamb in Exodus 12:1-13 was the sacrificial Passover lamb. One lamb was…

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    He Was Not What They Expected

    (Para español, lea abajo.) He criticized the prideful, religious elite and dined with criminals and tax collectors. He spoke to shunned women and healed unclean and contagious lepers. He welcomed little children and gave mercy to the desperate and the weak. “Who is this supposed King? He does not behave as we had expected,” they thought.  They expected a warrior king, not a humble servant. They expected a savior from foreign oppression, not a Savior from their sins. They expected their long-awaited ruler to ride victoriously on a horse. The King of Kings rode peacefully on a young donkey. (Zech. 9:9; Matt. 21:5) They waved palm branches and put their…

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    Holy Week – Jesus Praying in the Garden

      After sharing the Passover meal Jesus and his disciples begin walking toward the Garden of Gethsemane. Anticipating what was going to happen to him in a matter of hours, Jesus goes ahead to a place to pray asking Peter, James and John to wait with Him while he prays. He was deeply distressed and troubled (Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14: 32-41; Luke 22:40-46). He falls to the ground burdened with excessive sorrow. He prays to the Father for Himself, for His disciples and for all who would ever believe – for you and for me. Can you imagine what it would have been like to overhear the prayer conversation between…