Join us for a week of reading through and meditating on the days leading up to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Our friends at Bridgetown have created this helpful devotional to guide you through each day of Holy Week.
By Cameron Silsbee
Begin with prayer
Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting with minimal distractions. Once everyone is ready, take a moment of silence in the presence of the Spirit and one another. After a moment, have one person read Isaiah 53v1-6 and then pray, asking God’s Spirit to grow you all in the coming weeks.
Read this overview
Early on, followers of Jesus thought it crucial to chart rhythms for telling and re-telling the story of Jesus. These rhythms were one way Christians immersed themselves in the stories of the Scriptures throughout the year. You can see echoes of a rhythmic spiritual life in ancient Israel’s covenant relationship with Yahweh. Throughout the year, they observed seasonal festivals as a way to direct their attention toward their God and his story.
For us 21st-century westerners living in the Pacific Northwest, we’re typically shaped to view our time and our calendars as a commodity – time is money, as the saying goes. Observing the historic spiritual rhythms of the global church is one way we can allow the kingship of Jesus to have authority over our time and our calendars. It also provides us with a valuable opportunity to join together with other brothers and sisters globally and across church traditions in reading and reflecting on specific stories and themes in the Scriptures.
Talk through the following discussion questions:
This week is what the Christians have commonly called “Holy Week.” Along with times of the year such as Advent and Lent, Holy Week is eight days of reading the Scriptures, prayerful reflection and contemplation, culminating in the celebration of Easter.
The traditional reading of the Scriptures begins with Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem, his cleansing of the temple, the cursing of the fig tree, the betrayal of Judas, the washing of the disciples’ feet, his crucifixion, the harrowing of hell, and ends with the resurrection of Jesus.
Work through the following discussion prompts:
- Is Holy Week something you’ve observed or are otherwise familiar with, or is it a newer idea?
- Out of the Scripture stories read during Holy Week (stated above), which has been most meaningful to you as a follower of Jesus? Why?
Talk about this week’s Practice as a Community:
For this week’s Practice, you will read the Holy Week Devotional. Set aside 15-45 minutes to read, reflect, and pray on the Scriptures as the devotional leads you.
You can find the devotional here.
Be prepared next week to debrief how the reading of the devotional impacted the days leading up to Easter and Easter day itself.
Close in prayer
End your time as a group by having one person say the Nicene Creed.
I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
I believe in one, holy and apostolic Church. I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.