Holy Week Reflections & Activity Slides
Updated: Apr 9
Read through the daily reflections from Revd. David Burrow and then have a go at our Day by Day Activity slides!
On the Monday . . . .
Pause, light a candle: ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Psalm 46:10
On Palm Sunday we heard how the Temple, which was supposed to be a "house of prayer", had become a marketplace for cheats and robbers.
Jesus rocked the foundations of the political and religious establishment and had the gall to return the very next day!
On the way to the Temple Jesus passed a fig tree beside the road when . . . we’ll come to that in a minute, but first . . . if you wish take paper and pen and draw a tree.
Read Matthew 21:18-22 and as Jesus’ words of cursing ring out tear your picture in two.
Reflect on how you felt watching your picture being torn.
Why did Jesus curse the fig tree?
Charles Spurgeon writes: ‘Our Lord desired to teach his disciples concerning the doom of Jerusalem. The reception given him in Jerusalem was full of promise, but it would come to nothing. Their loud hosannas would change to, "Crucify Him!"’
Covered in leaves the tree promised much but it failed to deliver. Jerusalem, full of religion and declarations of faith, would wither and eventually be destroyed by the Romans.
What a lesson to churches! Organisation, influence and power are nothing but leaves without God’s Holy Spirit. Faith, hope, love and holiness are the fruit of a church alive.
Lord, during this challenging time, show me how I can care for others and bear fruit for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen
On the Tuesday . . . .
Pause, light a candle: “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” Jesus in Matthew 11:28
The following is based on Matthew 21:23-22:45
Try reading it all, section by section, at different times during the day.
Having got the attention of the Temple authorities, it was time to teach them a thing or two. But Jesus’ enemies got in first.
The religious leaders asked him: "By what authority are you doing these things and who gave you this authority?"
He answered them as only the Son of Man can: he asked a question and as they couldn't answer his question, Jesus wouldn't answer theirs.
He spoke to them in parables warning them of the dangers of rejecting him. But they wouldn’t give up: "Should we pay taxes to Caesar?"
The Sadducees don't believe in resurrection so asked Jesus a trick question about it.
Then came a lawyer, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
Eventually, they no longer dared ask him any more questions.
Reflection: "Does Jesus have authority in my life?
Or, like the teachers of the law, do I sometimes scoff at his wisdom and power, questioning him?
Do I love God with my whole being?
Or is it something I think is a nice idea in my head but has little effect on my soul?"
Lord, forgive me for times when I've doubted the wisdom of your ways. I give you my heart. I give you my soul. I love you with all my mind and with all my strength. By the power of your Holy Spirit empower me to produce fruit both in and out of season. Amen
On the Wednesday....
Pause: light a scented candle or oil burner:
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress; I shall not be shaken. Psalm 62:5-6
The anointing of Jesus. Read Mark 14:1-11
In the Old Testament, anointing with oil, commonly signified a transmission of power and blessing, such as for a king or a priest.
In the New Testament, it came to be a sign of love, of identity as a Christian and of the reception of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
These flowed from the Church’s understanding of Jesus as the ‘Messiah’ or ‘Christ’, which means the ‘anointed one’.
Mark, in his Gospel, tells us that it was on the Wednesday of Holy Week that Jesus was anointed with perfume. The perfume was expensive, 300 denarii was a year’s wages for a labourer, and the criticism by those who said the money could have been given to the poor would be echoed by many today but that misses the point.
Sadly, poverty will always be with us but only once in the history of the world will the Son of God, the good shepherd, lay down his life.
Such extravagant giving justifies extravagant response.
Take, O take me as I am;
summon out what I shall be;
set your seal upon my heart and live in me.
You might like to take some olive oil and make the sign of the cross on the palm of your hand as a symbol of Jesus’ love for you and yours for him.
Lord God anoint me with your Holy Spirit that I might serve you and my neighbour.
May my life be a sweet-smelling offering to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen
On the Thursday...
Today light a candle before your evening meal and say the following prayer:
Here is the Host in our midst -
God who invites us all.
Jesus who includes us all.
The Spirit who replenishes us all.
The Last Supper and the agony in the Garden:
As you eat, remember that it was during this Passover meal that Jesus took the bread, gave thanks to God, blessed it and shared it.
He also told his guests that one of them was going to betray him.
The atmosphere of this meal, that was a celebration of the Hebrew people escaping slavery in Egypt, changed.
As you eat your meal, alone or with others, reflect on the atmosphere in that upper room.
How had it changed?
What is the mood in your home like?
Give thanks for God’s presence with you.
After the meal Jesus took the cup, proclaiming that it represented a new covenant (agreement) between God and humanity.
Forgiveness for all was made possible by the shedding of Jesus’ blood.
The meal was over and the friends, without Judas, sang a hymn and went to the Garden of Gethsemane.
And there Jesus prayed that the cup of God’s wrath, God’s judgement on the world, might be taken from him.
Was there another way? There wasn’t.
Jesus yielded to God’s will and resisted the temptation to go his own way.
Of Jesus’ friends Judas was about to betray him, Peter to deny knowing him and the rest would disappear into the night.
Alone, Jesus faced his accusers.
Prayer: Broken Bread, Christ broken for us. Let us hold on to you through the darkness of this night. Our Christ our Saviour in light, in dark, in life, in death, our dear One, our Eternal Home. May your blessing be with us this night and forever more. Amen.
On the Friday...
On the Saturday...
Pause, light a candle and then read: John 19:38-42 and Matthew 27:62-66
Jesus is in the tomb. For his followers it seems like the world has ended but for us, this often-forgotten day, gives us the opportunity to try and understand how it must have felt as the shock and grief of Good Friday overwhelmed them.
What did the future hold? Had they wasted three years of their lives pursuing a hopeless dream?
Read or listen to ‘The Stone’. Imagine yourself as one of the characters: Peter, the women, or one of the other disciples. What are you thinking and feeling? What do you make of the hope offered in the last two verses for those who suffer today?
The Stone by Sam Hargreaves:
The stone is rolled to seal the grave, the soldiers stand to guard the door; the years of hope, the hearts of faith, cold as the tomb, dead as their Lord.
The tears of anger and regret, the cock has crowed, the traitor fled; disciples frightened and confused, where once was peace, now only dread.
Where can they go, where can they run? His words were true, eternal life;
yet even Christ has felt death’s sting, sin’s curse extinguishing love’s light.
We stand with them, with the bereaved, stand with the broken, torn and bruised; we hold our doubts, our tears, our pain, and, by our nails, hold to the truth.
There is a sun we cannot see, a resurrection yet to dawn, a hope that holds us through the night, a path that leads to Easter morn.
Here’s another video that is a little more edgy. Stick with it. It’s based on Lamentations 3 which challenges us to ask, is this a time where God is teaching his people to lament? Is he? Read the chapter and see what you make of it in the light of Jesus’ death and the coronavirus endemic.
During his life people had sometimes wanted to throw stones at Jesus.
A stone sealed his tomb.
Stones are often used to symbolise the burdens we carry: burdens of guilt, regret, grief, worry and others. Recognise the burdens you carry today.
Now, to prepare for Easter Sunday, take a stone and lay it at the foot of a cross (a palm cross or other, or one you have made) to symbolise giving your burdens to God to take away. Jesus said, ‘Give me your burdens’ and Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Finish with the following prayer: Thank you Jesus that you are the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep, for me. Thank you for your indescribable and unconditional love. As I wait for tomorrow morning and your resurrection help me to lay all my burdens down in your hands ready to be filled with the joy of your resurrection life. I pray in your precious name. Amen. John 15:13-14
CCL# 7128287 © Sam Hargreaves / RESOUNDworship.org, Administered by Jubilate Hymns Ltd - firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Sunday...
ALL HOLY WEEK SLIDES
Go through each day of Holy Week with these slides, each one has a Bible Quote, an object to place on your windowsill as a symbol of each day, a discussion question and a quiz question. All to get you thinking about the events of Holy Week and worship in a small way each day!
The events mentioned on each card are to get you thinking of the general events, it's not known for certain what happened on each literal day and the accounts of the events can conflict. They follow what are generally believed to be the main events.
Quiz Answers Below:
1. a. wept, 2. d. pigeons, 3. c. all 4 gospels, 4. d. praised, 5. a. John, 6. b. Simon of Cyrene, 7. c. 27, 9. True
Photos by :
Jakob Owens on Unsplash