Following the darkness of our Good Friday service at 7pm, because death does not have the final word, on Saturday, I will be streaming an Easter vigil service. The Easter vigil is a very very (VERY) old tradition that recounts the stories of faith that have led us to the hours before dawn when the stone will be found rolled away and the tomb will be found empty. In the ancient reckoning of time, the new day begins at sunset, not sunrise, which is why the first Creation narrative in Genesis repeats the phrase “and there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” Our vigil will begin at 8:30pm, when it is fully dark, because technically, by the ancient reckoning of time, the day of Easter will have begun–the tomb will be empty, even if the women haven’t discovered it yet.
Sunday, March 28
scripture: John 12:9-19
reflection: Imagine yourself at the parade. Would you sing Hosanna? Would you be afraid? Picture the sights, the smells, the crowd. For a moment, put yourself there.
prayer: Great teacher, you rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. It was a peaceful protest, but it was risky. You had to have known that this would end in violence, for who could stand against the state and survive? I imagine your bravery, and pray: Grant me a portion of that courage. I want to love the world as fiercely as you. Amen.
Monday, March 29
word of the day: “overturn”
scripture: Matthew 21:12-17
reflection: What rhythms, habits, perspectives, narratives, or ways of thinking need to be overturned in your life?
prayer: God of justice, you have never hesitated to overturn unjust structures—power systems, tables, stereotypes. In many ways, this can feel shocking to us. We humans are known for moving slowly when it comes to change or progress. So today I pray, help me let go of the need to control the tempo. I want to help you overturn. Amen.
Tuesday, March 30
word of the day: “wish”
scripture: John 12:20-21
reflection: What wishes do you have—for your faith, for your relationship with God, for your relationship with yourself?
prayer: Gracious God, there is much that I wish for. I wish for longer Sabbath days, for starry nights, for peace in my bones, for love in this city. However, above all else, I wish to see you. I wish for a closer relationship with you, O God. So scoop me up. Hear this wish. Hear this prayer. For I am like the Greeks who said, “We wish to see Jesus.” Amen.
Wednesday, March 31
word of the day: “anxious”
scripture: Philippians 4:4-9
reflection: When have you experienced anxiety in your life? What did it feel like? What steps do you take to center yourself? Where is God in that?
prayer: God of peace, we are all a little bit anxious. Our world moves so fast. How could we not be? I know anxiety is not what you wish for us, because you have always wanted whole, full, peaceful lives for your people. So today I ask for your deep breaths and a calm spirit. Relieve my anxiety. Center me. Help me slow down in a fast-paced world. Amen.
Thursday, April 1
scripture: John 6:41-51
reflection: What are the most meaningful meals you have had? What made them holy?
prayer: Bread of life, this Lenten season, I want to practice seeing you at every table—every place where food is shared, hands are held, and laughter is exchanged; every quiet table where I eat alone. I want to see you in all of it—the holiness and the ordinary. Open my eyes to you in my midst. Amen.
Friday, April 2
word of the day: “tend”
scripture: John 19:38-42
reflection: When have you witnessed someone tending to a difficult task?
prayer: God of grace, in the aftermath of violence, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus buried your son. They tended to the body, because even after death, your incarnate life mattered. Help me to tend to the difficult tasks that honor you. Amen.
Saturday, April 3
word of the day: “deny”
scripture: John 13:36-38
reflection: When have you been in denial? When have you denied others? When have you denied God?
prayer: Holy God, Peter denied. I understand why. Being a Christian in this world is not easy. People have assumptions about what I believe, who I am, who I include. I find myself tempted to defend my beliefs, or to downplay how much I long for you. Forgive me, for I am like Peter. I have been ashamed to tell this story. Forgive me, forgive me, forgive me. Amen.