Season of Easter Readings: Sunday, April 27

Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9 and John 20:19-31

Reflection Questions:

  1. Recalling recent readings of the disciples, namely Peter, as they journeyed with Jesus through his trails, tortured death and resurrection, listen to Peter’s voice, his heart, his audacious faith and understanding of life after Jesus’ ascension from the opening of his letter to Jesus followers (1 Peter 1:3-9). What do you hear? What do you sense changed for Peter?
  2. As you sit with Peter’s words, his wisdom, what encouragement do you receive? What lessons might you learn from this sage follower of Christ? Is there something to embrace, take hold of for your own current circumstances and life experience?
  3. Peter likened his experience of Jesus’ resurrection to new birth, a second chance at life, newness of life. Think about Peter’s description: “he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…” (v.3). What does this description convey to you? How might you describe your own experience of Jesus and his resurrection?
  4. The resurrection of Jesus has impacted and changed humanity for centuries. How has it changed you? Is there a testimony, a story to tell, of the ways you’ve experienced or are experiencing Jesus’ resurrection life, hope, salvation? Look for creative, bold ways to tell your story to others this week!

Easter Sunday, April 20

Readings: Acts 10:34-43; Matthew 28:1-10

Christ is risen! Christ is risen, indeed!

Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song. ― Pope John Paul II

Easter changes everything! Why? Christians are in Christ. What is true of him will be true of us. On Easter we affirm not merely, Christ is risen, but I shall rise. This is the confidence that fuels martyrs. It is the poise that allows an exhausted mom to get the last child in bed with kindness and love. Easter provides the certainty that allows those who find life challenging to keep walking in faith while they wait for a spouse to marry, a new job, to finish that last class before graduation, or to anticipate a friendship to be reconciled. Easter-faith is both backbone and joy for the journey—it changes everything!

Holy Saturday, April 19

Readings: John 19:38-42; Galatians 5:1; 2 Corinthians 6:11-13; Matthew 16:18

Begin with the above centering prayer, by Peter Traben Haas, as you reflectively read today’s Scriptures.

Most have an awareness of Good Friday and everyone knows about Easter. But what happened between those two days? How does the church celebrate that? What is holy about Holy Saturday? Holy Saturday is the day that spiritually unifies and stitches together the cross and resurrection. Christians have always set aside this day for prayer and meditation. The public service of the church is very simple and stripped-down to a few readings and prayers. We contemplate both the Passion of Christ and the reaction of his first friends. How might they have felt to see their dreams crushed by his brutal death on the cross? As you imaginatively enter into this scene of dark despair, bring to God any remaining darkness you discovered in Lent. As you do, receive the awareness that, like Jesus in the dark tomb, you too are held in the Father’s love—our Father who is already always there.

———— See Good Friday Reflection Below ————

Good Friday, April 18

Readings: Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12; Psalm 22:1-11; Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9; John 19:1-37

Begin with the above centering prayer, by Peter Traben Haas, as you reflectively read today’s Scriptures.

On this day we are witnesses of the crucifixion of Jesus. It is “Good Friday” because on this day the powers of evil were dethroned by the one whose life could not be taken, but who gave his life that we might have life. It is a day of mixed emotions: sorrow because we identify with his suffering; joy because we know that his death is our salvation. As we contemplate the Way of the Cross—Jesus being condemned to death, nailed to the cross, and placed in the grave, we experience our sins being placed upon him, nailed to his cross, and buried with him in the grave.

———— See Maundy Thursday Reflection Below ————