You are on page 1of 50

Journeying with Christ: A Guide for Lent and Holy Week

Presented by Justice Coalition

Cover Image: “Good Friday” by dt.haase
ink with pen & brush Who better in His ability to understand and share the feelings of others? The pen and ink depiction of Christ was completed in one continual line as a means to convey the continuous outworking of Christ’s sacrifice. The boldness of the ink painted cross is to symbolize the piercing reality of our sin. Herein is our King of empathy and justice.

Copyright Information: Biblical texts are taken from the following translations:
Scripture quotations marked (NRSV) are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are from Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (GNT) are from the Good News Translation in Today’s English Version- Second Edition Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission. Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked (ESV) are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture marked (NASB) taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. Scripture quotations marked (TNIV) taken from the HOLY BIBLE, TODAY'S NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 2001, 2005 by Biblica®. Used by permission of Biblica®. All rights reserved worldwide. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Hymn texts quoted within are public domain. All other text and artwork used by permission of their respective owners.

Welcome to the season of Lent. Throughout this season and Holy Week, we hope that this guide can help in your walk (and our walk as a community) with the Lord on the way to the cross. Professors, staff, students, and Christians throughout history have contributed to the following daily devotionals. We hope that the stories presented here create a beautiful symphony of praise that joins with scripture’s beautiful story of salvation. In order for this to happen, it is essential that the following stories are read in light of the scriptures listed with them. Each day, let the Spirit speak to you through the words of the Bible and the words of the community around you. May you be blessed by this book and may it help you reflect, repent, and rejoice because of Christ’s suffering and final victory. May that reflection and repentance be the tools of the Spirit for shaping a more just life for you personally and for all of us in this community, overflowing into the church at-large.

The Wheaton College Justice Coalition is a group of six student clubs: A Rocha, Christian Feminists Club, International Justice Mission, Plowshares, Student Global AIDS Campaign, and Voice for Life. We seek to present a united vision and effort that pursues God’s kingdom justice as an outworking of our faith. We seek to do this by promoting critical thought that leads to the formation of just lives both at Wheaton and beyond. Share your story with us. Join in life together with us. Pray with us. Let us seek the Kingdom of God together in community, with humility, in the power of the Spirit.


Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. It is a time of repentance, reflection, fasting, and meditation on the temptations and suffering of Christ. In some traditions, this day is marked with the administration of the sign of a cross made from ashes on the foreheads of the participants in Ash Wednesday services. These ashes serve as both a reminder of our mortality and our penitence, each of which we ought to reflect upon during Lent. Lord, who throughout these forty days For us didst fast and pray, Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins And close by Thee to stay. As Thou with Satan didst contend, And didst the victory win, O give us strength in Thee to fight, In Thee to conquer sin. As Thou didst hunger bear, and thirst, So teach us, gracious Lord, To die to self, and chiefly live By Thy most holy Word. And through these days of penitence, And through Thy passiontide, Yea, evermore in life and death, Jesus, with us abide. Abide with us, that so, this life Of suffering over past, An Easter of unending joy We may attain at last. Claudia Frances Ibotson Hernaman, 1873


Ash Wednesday

Dust Raised Imperishable
1 Corinthians 15:48-49 (ESV)



“Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” In reflecting on this phrase which is uttered during the administration of the ashes on Ash Wednesday, I am reminded of the passage from 1 Corinthians 15:35-58. In it Paul is unpacking what I consider to be some of the most important words in the New Testament that Christians regularly need to be reminded of. During the Lenten season we stop and reflect on the sacrifice of Christ and our own need for a Savior. We take time to reflect on how we are so desperately lost in our own sin. Because of this, Christ came. He died, and he rose again. In this series of events, the incarnate God is made available to us – the men of dust - in a new way through the man of heaven. When Paul is writing to the church in Corinth, he addresses their concerns about how the dead are raised. He shares with them that we are perishable, but we will be raised imperishable. We are sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body. He looks back to the first Adam, the man formed from the earth out of dust in Genesis 3:19. But Paul points us to the man of heaven. It is through the second man, Jesus of Nazareth – Immanuel, God incarnate, true God, begotten, not made that we are able to bear the image of the man of heaven. Without this we cannot inherit the kingdom of God. It is good to remember that we are dust, and we shall return to dust. But it is just as important to remember that we will be raised imperishable and we shall be changed. That is the hope that we cling to. Dr. William Struthers is an Associate Professor of Psychology, on faculty since 1999.

this can be accomplished through spiritual practices and self-denial that can transform our focus onto God and others rather than our self. Therefore. ch. The prophet realizes the human tendency to seek easy solutions to life’s problems. . for he is gracious and compassionate. Benedict makes the helpful connection that “The life of a monk ought to be a continuous Lent” (Rule. But Joel understood God’s expectation that true repentance was a matter of the heart. According to Benedict. chapter 49. This is especially true for my course on the Classics of Christian Devotion. By rending our hearts and not our garments we will be convicted of our own tendencies to emphasize the superficial aspects of externals of comparison and competition while neglecting the more significant and deeper issues of a person’s inner life. Dr.February 24 Rend Your Hearts Joel 2:12-17 (TNIV) The prophet Joel declares God’s invitation and the proper manner in which we are to come before God: “Rend your heart and not your garments. at the most basic level of our relationships within our own Christian communities we can act justly with hospitality as we remember that God who is gracious and compassionate to welcome us back has provided us with a model to follow. TNIV). Notice the strong connection between this Benedictine characteristic of hospitality and Joel 2:13. Recently I taught St. not only during Lent but every day throughout the year. Jesus reinforces the same importance of interiority or matters of the heart (see Luke 6:43-45.1). and not just a surface display of religion. Clearly one of the most foundational acts of justice is love for our neighbor even as we love God. called Hungering for God. Mark 7:5-13). slow to anger and abounding in love. This again relates to Benedict’s Rule when he admonishes communities that “all guests … are to be welcomed as Christ” (Rule. Return to the Lord your God.1). and he relents from sending calamity” (Joel 2:13. In my teaching I often draw upon the witness of Christians from across the centuries of the church. Benedict (480-547) and his famous Rule for early monastic communities. Tom Schwanda is an Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Ministry. 53. Rending one’s garments was an external display of remorse or repentance. This Scripture is associated with Lent and frequently read on Ash Wednesday to mark the beginning of the forty–day journey of preparation that leads to Easter. on faculty since 2006.

Gracious God. all my guilt remove. From my sins O hide Thy face. Make me pure. my heart renew. be merciful to me. from The Psalter. 1912 February 25 . Savior. Grief and guilt my soul oppress. Cast me not away from Thee. On Thy grace I rest my plea. Plenteous in compassion Thou. Cleanse. make me pure within. Blot out my transgressions now. Thou alone my Savior art. Wash me. Let Thy Spirit dwell in me. Anonymous. And my tongue shall sing Thy love. Blot them out in boundless grace. Sinners then shall learn from me And return. Thy salvation’s joy impart. Steadfast make my willing heart. to Thee. O cleanse me from my sin. My transgressions I confess. Make my spirit right and true. I confess Thy judgment just. Wash me whiter than the snow. I have sinned against Thy grace And provoked Thee to Thy face.God. Thy grace bestow. humbled to the dust By Thy wrath and judgment just. Touch my silent lips. Be Merciful to Me God. O Lord. O God. born in sin. Let my contrite heart rejoice And in gladness hear Thy voice. I am evil. I Thy mercy trust. Teach Thy wisdom to my heart. And my mouth shall praise accord. Thou desirest truth within. Broken. Speechless.

and ‘On their hands they will bear you up. and behold. “On the other hand. if You fall down and worship me. And the tempter came and said to Him. for it is written. but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. and serve him only. throw Yourself down. angels came and began to minister to Him.” But He answered and said. ‘You shall worship the Lord your God.’” Then the devil left Him. “If You are the Son of God. it is written. And after He had fasted forty days and forty nights. ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test. “If You are the Son of God. and said to Him.February 26 The First Sunday in Lent Matthew 4:1-11 (NASB) Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. and he said to Him. “It is written. “Go. the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. ‘He will command his angels concerning you’.’” Then the devil took Him into the holy city and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple. so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. . ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’” Again.’” Jesus said to him. He then became hungry. Satan! For it is written.” Then Jesus said to him. command that these stones become bread. “All these things I will give You.

but based in the fact he was loved by Jesus. Too frequently. Jesus did not spend that time fasting to lose weight. what might we sacrifice that hinders us from adopting a similar identity? The Wheaton College community seeks to follow Christ and serve God. break a bad habit. I notice this in the ‘wasteful’ moments with my daughters.The One Whom Jesus Loved Matthew 4:1-11. and John 21:20). In my work with HNGR. on faculty since 2010. Amy Reynolds is an Assistant Professor of Sociology. Like many. What they do takes on less importance than the relationships they have with God and the community around them. It was enough. John describes himself several times as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (see John 19:26. during a time when he was famished and alone. one that is often greater than my desire to be. John 21.7. Dr. . Rather. He experienced the power of being the Beloved. As we celebrate Lent. In the book of John. John 13:23 February 27 Is being beloved enough? What would it mean if that question guided our practice of Lent? During this season. or become committed to a positive discipline. John 20:2. His identity was not primarily in his occupation or his family history. we remember the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11). I have thoughts of what I should be doing. and are willing to be used by Him as He desires. and hunger more to simply be a part of His beloved community. Yet often this identity is about what we do (however noble) instead of our relationship with the Father and what God has done for us. it has been exciting to see the ways that students experience the power of simply being with God and other people. My prayer this season is that you and I might more fully embrace an identity as one whom Jesus loves. I have a desire to do. Many make earnest commitments to be a part of what God is doing in the world.

. Gregory of Nazianzus that affirm “What has not been assumed has not been healed”. Certainly these things aren't entirely bad. of kenosis. we call it 'redeeming culture'--we name it in a way that deemphasizes the negative connotations that come along with the idea. and there is a Biblical basis for them. We must always measure our ideas of power next to the power made manifest in Christ—a life of self-emptying. Austin Wilson is a sophomore student and a member of Plowshares. Jesus knows this struggle intimately. But let us not twist this mission into a thinly-veiled quest for our own power that so often becomes the goal of Christians in the secular sphere. The devil promises him all authority in exchange for worship. By reflecting on this temptation of Christ.February 28 Weakness Conquering Power Luke 4:5-8 (ESV) We are a people plagued by a thirst for power. which presents a clear lesson—we must not hand our loyalty to Satan regardless of the rewards that lie behind it. we see that His example of power is not what any of us expect—it looks a lot like weakness. We call it 'Biblical excellence'. the American Dream. to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and make something of ourselves. or should it reveal something more about our proper relationship to power? With Christ as the full revelation of God. It is vital that we remember this as we seek to establish our role in the fallen world around us. He suffers. But they still lie at the heart of it. Nietzsche believed this “will to power” was the primary catalyst for all actions in humankind—to reach for the heights. and we can lean on the words of St. We should not be totally removed from the culture and institutions surrounding us. This is not a success story. with the season of Lent being a time of repentance and self-denial. it is important that we are self-critical of the assumptions that lie behind our actions both individually and corporately. This is your graduation speech. we are able to see how He related to the idea of power through Satan's offers. He condescends. but rather seek to redeem them through the power of the Gospel. our forefathers' mantra. He dies humiliated on a criminal's tree. However. But it is through this weakness that Jesus conquers over the powers of sin and death and reconciles a wayward humanity to God and to one another. of a weakness that is more powerful than death. But is Christ's rejection of this offer only because it comes from Satan. We don't ignore this in our community either.

While I am waiting. today! Whiter than snow. Lord! Have Thine own way! Thou art the Potter. surely is Thine! Touch me and heal me. Have Thine own way. always. wash me just now. Master. Have Thine own way. Adelaide Addison Pollard. I am the clay. Mold me and make me after Thy will. Lord! Have Thine own way! Hold o’er my being absolute sway! Fill with Thy Spirit ’till all shall see Christ only. all power. yielded and still. Lord! Have Thine own way! Search me and try me. 1907 February 29 .Have Thine Own Way. As in Thy presence humbly I bow. I pray! Power. help me. living in me. Lord! Have Thine own way! Wounded and weary. Lord! Have Thine own way. Savior divine. Lord. Have Thine own way.

in his forty days of temptation. While this reflective tone and focus on sacrifice and self-denial is a beautiful and much-needed part of the church’s life. Therefore. and following in the path that Jesus has set before us. but instead. and so on. Satan presented ways of being Messiah and King that would have had Jesus use his power for his own interest. Now we are free to rely on the victory already won and overcome temptation by the grace of God. the Messiah and representative of Israel. let us rejoice! Lent is not the end of the road.March 1 Rejoicing in Lent Hebrews 4:15-16. meditation on Christ’s sacrifice. overcoming his temptations and being faithful to his mission that would free us from Satan’s snares. and death through the power of Jesus’ submission to death. Jesus did nothing out of his own interest. laying down our now free lives for the sake of others. that victory is won over all sin. darkness is not our fate. . obeying and submitting himself to God where Israel had failed. 5:8-10 (NRSV) Lent is often viewed as a very sad and somber time in the church calendar. Zach Stallard is a junior student and part of the Justice Coalition cabinet. bringing the world into right relationship. no “alleluia” in worship. Jesus fulfills Israel’s covenant commission to be obedient to God and blazes a path for the new Israel. This is what justice looks like: right relationship through self-denial and sacrifice for others. He rejected these misuses of power in favor of victory through obedient submission to death for the sake of others. but joy is coming with the morning! We have hope because victory is won! The story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness bears clear parallels to the trials of Israel in the wilderness. even death on a cross. evil. But this does not lead to freedom for our own sake. How do these two connect? It is in Holy Week that the temptation is overcome. Because of Jesus’ victory over temptation. It leads to freedom that we must use in humble obedience. They spent forty years facing the temptation of disobedience and grumbling against God. We celebrate these forty days in remembrance of Jesus’ temptation in the desert and in preparation for Holy Week. it is also good to remember where Lent is going. the church. a path of submission to God. Jesus defeated Satan. always failing. won victory. with fasting. we have hope. but was obedient. But Jesus.

love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. What Jesus taught. Jesus lived. 101). our Lord said. “Father. Thank God for their rare courage in following Jesus. .’ But I tell you. Real-life examples of this level of Christ-following are all too rare. forgive them.” Chesterton writes: “Christianity . Jesus taught.Loving Our Enemies Matthew 5:43. But how do we do it? How can we do it? How can we put into practice what is so often beyond our natural. we do not simply close our eyes to horrific deeds and hope they will never happen again. and loving fellow believers are notions easily affirmed. Love and forgiveness do not reject justice. not to be excused or ignored. But loving our enemies? You’ve got to be kidding. it is a formidable challenge to embrace Jesus’ teaching and example in loving our enemies. K. a church is modeling to the world the teaching and example of Jesus in loving and forgiving their enemies. Baghdad. in a chapter entitled. The criminal we must forgive unto seventy times seven. So when we forgive. Should sin go unpunished? “If you do the crime. against us. 1994. Chesterton addresses this in his book. and what he requires. I think that’s helpful. George’s Church. The crime we must not forgive at all” (Harold Shaw Publishers. Orthodoxy. Loving God. ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. human inclination? How can we love our enemies? How can we forgive those who have sinned against God. In a world of pain and injustice. and against others? Our reluctance is understandable. p. now in his 23rd year. “You have heard that it was said. what he has done. Luke 23:34 (NIV) March 2 In his Sermon on the Mount. Penalty and restitution can be accompanied by love and forgiveness. for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). you do the time”—that sounds fair and equitable. From the cross. There. . Dr. Can we seek justice and practice love and forgiveness at the same time? Are justice and love mutually exclusive categories? G. We all know what Jesus has taught. Sin is always sin. Stephen Kellough is Chaplain of Wheaton College. 5:43). love and forgiveness reject bitterness and revenge. . One sparkling exception continues today through the Iraqi Christians of St. loving neighbor. divided the crime from the criminal. in the midst of persecution and heartache. “The Paradoxes of Christianity.

within the veil. but now I see. I have already come. Yea. ’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear. John Newton. 1779 . ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far. And grace will lead me home. I shall possess. He will my Shield and Portion be. when this flesh and heart shall fail. His Word my hope secures. A life of joy and peace.March 3 Amazing Grace! Amazing grace! How sweet the sound That saved a wretch like me! I once was lost. toils and snares. As long as life endures. but now am found. And grace my fears relieved. Was blind. The Lord has promised good to me. And mortal life shall cease. How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed! Through many dangers.

And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days. but three days later he would rise from the dead. “Who do people say I am?” “Well.” . you must turn from your selfish ways.” Then.” But Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him. “If any of you wants to be my follower. As he talked about this openly with his disciples. Then Jesus began to tell them that the Son of Man must suffer many terrible things and be rejected by the elders. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News. he said. “some say John the Baptist. not from God’s. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view. He would be killed.The Second Sunday in Lent Mark 8:27-38 (NLT) March 4 Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied. Satan!” he said. he asked them. Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples. then reprimanded Peter. If you try to hang on to your life. the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels. you will lose it. take up your cross.” they replied. “You are the Messiah. Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Get away from me. calling the crowd to join his disciples. the leading priests. you will save it. and follow me. and others say you are one of the other prophets. some say Elijah.” Then he asked them. As they were walking along. and the teachers of religious law.

let us reflect upon the self-emptying love of Christ that we may rejoice with those the world has forgotten.” Hope House is Lawndale’s residential addiction recovery ministry. on faculty since 2011. There sat a cluster of approximately fifty men. and a strict commitment to reject substance abuse. where Jesus’ words before the sheep and the goats typically prompt confusion and guilt. Almost every phrase of the reading prompted a smattering of sober grunts and celebratory outbursts. prayer. all wearing the same blue shirts with the same white. Gregory Lee is an Assistant Professor of Theology. For six intense months. participants undergo a rigorous twelve-step program consisting of Bible study. For the first coming. job training. as Luke writes. but we risk misinterpreting the Word of God when we do not identify with the least of these. an inner-city ministry in West Side Chicago. for this was the very mission of Christ. On the Day of Judgment. “Amen. evangelicals have often failed to hear such readings. Dr. Does the difference between heaven and hell hang on whether I volunteer at a homeless shelter? I do not know anyone who has gone to jail – whom would I even visit? And is Jesus suggesting salvation comes through works? This Sunday was different. In a neighborhood where seventy percent of men have experienced prison at some point in their lives.” Despite our commitment to Scripture and the gospel. or to take seriously the inaugural words of Jesus’ ministry.” I looked across the sanctuary for the source of enthusiasm. the Son of man will come in glory. . or just captives of sin? Scripture assists the faithful preaching of the gospel. or just the poor in spirit? Did he proclaim release for captives. As we proceed through the Lenten season. two-word insignia: “Hope House. Then we will receive the inheritance prepared for us from the foundation of the world. this particular community received Jesus’ words as a personal message of encouragement: “Jesus will judge others based on how they treat me.March 5 Scripture and the Forgotten Matthew 25:31-46 (RSV) The first place I heard Matthew 25 presented as a word of hope was Lawndale Community Church. I had spent much of my church life in communities of relative privilege. they also attend both worship services. Each Sunday.” “Hallelujah. Was Jesus anointed to preach good news to the poor. he chose humility instead.” “Yes.

Jesus was executed for being who in truth he was. Sin. How paradoxical that God’s greatest act of good was simultaneous with humankind’s greatest act of evil! Because of the cross. 9:5). But the world into which Jesus came. in the end of all things. Yes. Only God can separate the two. is a murky gray. These scriptures make it clear that evil is not a philosophical abstraction that is “out there” somewhere. sometimes deeply and stubbornly rooted. God dealt decisively with evil when Jesus was crucified on what strangely has come to be called “Good” Friday. every decision of our lives. On the night when Jesus was betrayed.” -John 19:30 March 6 Good and evil are moral opposites. are hard to overlay on a world that all too often looks gray.” and bowing his head he gave up his spirit. The charge brought against Jesus was the claim he was the Messiah and Son of God. expresses the darkness of the absence of God in every instance of injustice. but that evil resides in the human heart. “God is light” (1 John 1:5) and “God is love” (1 John 4:16) declare that God himself defines what is good and right. by God himself. Jobes is a Professor of New Testament Greek and Exegesis. The dualities that John teaches between light and darkness. . every act. 8:12. Ironically. the sheep will be separated from the goats. John tells us that Judas went out “and it was night” (John 13:30). good and evil. “It is finished. on faculty since 2005. Dr. God’s righteous presence entered the world to call people out of the darkness (John 1:9. Jesus was executed. he was not recognized for who he was. Karen H. and in which we continue to live. and was rejected to the point of being executed. defined. but because he was the Son of God. In this Lenten season. the thorns from the wheat. In the greatest act of injustice ever committed. Followers of Jesus Christ are called to walk in the light as he is in the light by living every moment and making every decision motivated by love and justice as God defines it. even the greatest acts of evil and injustice cannot thwart God’s ability to conquer evil with good. not in spite of being the Son of God. which is the opposite of love. When the Word became flesh. as John’s letters tell us. Judas went out into the darkness. There is no mistaking that the One who created all things came to his own. and then to trust God as we walk in the light. but because of the darkness in the human heart. in every evil decision. and there will be no more darkness. Even things done sincerely in the name of Jesus Christ have often been done in ways contrary to the law of love that God has revealed.Finishing the Darkness “… Jesus said. our crucified Lord calls us to shine his light into every moment.

on faculty since 2008. Jeffrey W. and therein God. . . approached his own journey from life to death with such hope. Dr. A friend of mine. Amen. and hope in Christ. It is the fulfillment of my priestly vocation. Rather. . we find that moving towards the cross is neither the end of life.” (p. in this journey of life and death. In his final book. the late theologian Rev. 128) Dan’s words point to the work of Christ in the journey to Jerusalem in a most profound way. movement towards the cross and death is also a sign of new life and new creation. an attraction not into anything clear and unambiguous but into a light that is the mystery of death and life. Christ’s journey towards death was a sign for all of us of what it means to live faithfully before God. but I don’t take this negatively at all: it is also being drawn into life and the two are closely tied together . Daniel Hardy. and participate in Christ’s “vocation” in this broken world. give glimpses of God’s redemptive power. drawing this broken world to you.March 7 Journeying toward Life “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. nor only a kind of stealing and destruction associated with a thief (as in John 10:10). and have it abundantly. He was drawn into death—his eyes were set on the work before him. We now share in the life-giving work. How do we make sense of these conflicting principles? The cross was a symbol of shame. I came that they may have life. so lead us into your light that our lives may be signs of attraction. In following the steps of Christ’s journey. Dan had been diagnosed with an especially aggressive form of brain cancer that made both he and his family aware of the limited time he had left.” —John 10:10 The journey of Christ to the cross that we remember during Lent is a powerful reminder of life. going ahead of you into the mystery. Father. But God’s identification with shame has transformed the entire situation. Death promises only loss and ruin. Perhaps I’m being a sort of sign of attraction. death. Wording a Radiance (2010). Barbeau is an Associate Professor of Theology. Dan shared a series of conversations on life and death that speak quite powerfully to us during this season: “I’ve been content ever since the onset of this cancer to be drawn into death.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (NIV). We thank you. we can become brothers and sisters that struggle together with those afflicted by AIDS and realize the need to pray collectively in confession of all of our sins. we struggle to separate the sin from the sinner. “This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. AIDS is one prominent example of a situation in which. For it is said in Romans 3:22-23. for the cross. An African Hymn (10th century) The cross is the hope of Christians the cross is the resurrection of the dead the cross is the way of the lost the cross is the savior of the lost the cross is the staff of the lame the cross is the guide of the blind the cross is the strength of the weak the cross is the doctor of the sick the cross is the aim of the priests the cross is the hope of the hopeless the cross is the freedom of the slaves the cross is the power of the kings the cross is the water of the seeds the cross is the consolation of the bondmen the cross is the source of those who seek water the cross is the cloth of the naked. Some say it’s a judgment from God and others believe that people with AIDS don’t deserve sympathy because their suffering is a result of sexual sin. as Christians. Instead of separating people with AIDS as them let us recognize that all of us are sinners and that this entire world and every person in it need prayer.Suffering Together Romans 3:22-23 (NIV) March 8 Any discussion about AIDS inevitably becomes very weighty as people try to understand and explain the damning epidemic. In this way. . Lauren Kim is a sophomore student and President of Student Global AIDS Campaign. Father. There is no difference. we need to carefully avoid judgment and always come back to the important recognition of the reality of this fallen world. As followers and image-bearers of Jesus Christ.

Now I give myself to Thee. By the spear wound and the nailing. By the thorns that crowned Thy brow. Thou didst give Thyself for me. Thou didst die that I might live. Thy love unfailing. Of Thy matchless love forgive me. Wilt Thou own the gift I bring? All my penitence I give Thee. Thou cam’st to save me: All that love of God could give Jesus by His sorrows gave me. Let Thy gracious body broken. I now Claim. Blessèd Lord. anonymous. O Christ. O gracious Lord. Be to me. 1907 . Thou art my exalted King. Greek Hymn. translated by John Brownlie.March 9 Let Thy Blood in Mercy Poured Let Thy blood in mercy poured. Of Thy boundless love the token. By the pain and death.

on faculty since 1981. that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you. If this is true in architecture and other arts. in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit. He had his eye on the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. How am I using my time? In what am I investing my talents and energy? In cutting out the distractions and inessentials. Knowing the difference is immensely important. including his own achievements and awards. Living an effective life for God means that we focus on the goal. Dr. David Fletcher is an Associate Professor of Philosophy. and is essential to accomplishing what you set out to do. He forgot what lay behind. But how do we judge that one thing should be left out and something else put in? There’s no hard and fast rule. Heavenly Father. cutting out anything that might distract us or slow us down. What to Put In Philippians 3:13-14 March 10 The great American architect and native of nearby Oak Park. Does this get us closer to what we want to accomplish. . it is also essential in writing academic papers. Resources devoted to spoiling ourselves could be put to kingdom uses in meeting the basic needs of others. what to put in. What to leave out. but the basic idea is to keep foremost in mind what we are trying to express. it’s usually best to prune and trim than to pad with more verbiage. or energy for lesser things. During the editing phase of a paper.What to Leave Out. what to put in. through Jesus Christ our Lord. just where and just how. ah. Frank Lloyd Wright. Amen. that is to have been educated in knowledge of simplicity -. but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight. said "To know what to leave out and what to put in." 
 What to leave out and what to put in.toward ultimate freedom of expression. or is it a distraction? What to leave out. and found he didn’t have interest. we may well find that we have been making our own luxury and entertainment a high priority. time. The apostle Paul found this to be an essential principle in the spiritual life.

You certainly spoke the truth!” “Sir. and Jesus. The woman was surprised. “Believe me.” Then Jesus told her. “I AM the Messiah!” Just then his disciples came back. dear woman. . But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. “You are a Jew.” “Go and get your husband. bubbling spring within them.” “Please. where our ancestors worshiped?” Jesus replied. sir. She said to Jesus.” the woman said. So tell me. “and this well is very deep. you don’t have a rope or a bucket. “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship. “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. When he comes. tired from the long walk. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied.” Jesus told her.” she said. and I am a Samaritan woman. do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob. he will explain everything to us. and I won’t have to come here to get water. “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him. For God is Spirit. for salvation comes through the Jews.” the woman replied.March 11 The Third Sunday in Lent John 4:5-30 (NLT) Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar. you would ask me. telling everyone. “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands.” “But sir. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. sat wearily beside the well about noontime.” the woman said. near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. Jesus said. who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?” Jesus replied. “you must be a prophet.” The woman said. “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to. so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. and Jesus said to her. giving them eternal life. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman. “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village. Where would you get this living water? And besides. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water. while we Jews know all about him.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food. for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. “Please give me a drink. the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. but none of them had the nerve to ask. why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship. and I would give you living water. while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim. “I don’t have a husband. It becomes a fresh. “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again.

places of that form of humility. or herself. "Hi. My name is Samson and I struggle with lust”. I struggle with paralyzing fears and insecurities”. "Hi. The flaws became grace places. a man whose life is spent in dissipation. My name is Miriam. Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee. My name is Mary Magdalene and I’m a prostitute”. "Hi. In Francis Thompson’s poem “The Hound of Heaven” the hound. I'm a religious leader. the Assistant Director of the Billy Graham Institute for Strategic Evangelism. I struggle with doubts”. asks a man fleeing from Him.. I’m upset about his interracial marriage”. a need for God’s love and mercy. in some kind of recovery group? Imagine it: "Hi. I am a coward and a liar. My name is Thomas. and mightier than they ever could have imagined. but I cave in to peer pressure”. thou knowest not how unworthy of love thou art. representing God. Alas. My name is Elijah and I struggle with depression”. I am a Christian killer and I am very difficult to work with”. "Hi. My name is Aaron. in his or her specific need. wider. We are Isaac and Rebecca and we're dysfunctional parents". He is also an advisor for Voice for Life. and the Director of the Wheaton Evangelism Institute.Members of a Recovery Group Romans 5:8 March 12 Have you ever noticed how everyone in the Bible could have introduced himself. I am an adulterer and a murderer”. which is a synonym for honesty. I do not believe that they were rewarded for the flaws. Each came to acknowledge. richer. "Hi. how hast thou merited? Of all man’s dingiest clay thou art the dingiest clot. Rise. "Hi. “Human love demands human meriting. clasp my hand and come. My name is Paul. Jerry Root is an Associate Professor. "Hi. My name is Peter and I let down my best friend when he needed me most”. "Hi. Perhaps all the individuals listed above went on to accomplish their greatest work after their hour of crisis because each understood more deeply than he or she might have otherwise known that God’s love was deeper. As I observe these heroes of the faith. I’m jealous of my little brother Moses and I’m a racist. For each. My name is Jacob and I'm a cheater and a scoundrel". in progressively deeper ways. "Hi. I would tell a lie to put my wife's life at risk in order to save my own skin". God’s love is not conditioned by performance. on faculty since 1996. My name is Abraham. "Hi. save me? Save only me. My name is Naomi and I am bitter”. God made the resources of His love available. My name is David. Dr.. "Hi. . My name is Timothy. "Hi. "Hi. My name is Moses and I’m a hot-head and a murderer”. I see that each one was flawed and yet each did significant Kingdom work.. He loves us with a love that is not conditioned by our performance. Easter reminds us how far God’s love will go. So too. "Hi. nor do I believe that their flaws were unrelated to the good that occurred in their lives.” The words are very powerful.

When was the last time you ate with someone of another cultural background? Friendship is a justice issue. not feasting. the crippled. boring. He surrounded himself with the people he wanted to be like and benefit from. who would Jesus eat with? Clayton Keenon is a 2005 alumnus and has been the coordinator of Discipleship Small Groups and Grad Chapel since 2010. well-connected.March 13 Who Are We Eating With? Luke 14:12-24 This passage may seem odd right now. and the blind. Think of how difficult is to find time to eat with those who are socially taxing—awkward. Fasting forces us take seriously our consumption. Jesus criticizes the host because the reward he seeks is shortsighted. In the Kingdom. This Lent. Jesus was not always a well-behaved guest at parties. those who preferred their rich neighbors will be conspicuously absent. since Lent is a season of fasting. Relational poverty is behind most other forms of poverty. good looking. we engage in these relationships in hope. At that table. Jesus’ criticism stems from his conviction that our parties here and now ought to be a foretaste of God’s ultimate party in the New Creation. By inviting the wealthy and powerful. the lame. he spends a lot of time critiquing what he sees. In Luke 14. needy. hearing their story. but consider how eager you are to catch lunch with someone who is socially interesting—witty.” you may feel out of place at Jesus’ feast. It asks about who we eat with. everything benefitted the host. asking them to pass the bread—than there is in short term service or monetary donations. As Christians. ask yourself. At this party. There is often more transformational power in sitting down at a table with someone—looking into their eyes. It may be subtle. This passage asks a different question about eating. Meals—both in Jesus’ day and ours—reveal social structures and relationships. If you do not want to sit down with the “poor. Social capital and economic capital are linked. Most of us spend a lot of time with people like us. We do this too. this Pharisee was setting himself up for repayment. it is the presently marginalized who will be ushered to the table. Fasting is a practice that focuses our attention on what we eat and why we eat. He is getting in with the wrong people—those who are currently rich. We look to the day when Jesus will invite us all to his banquet. .

in these specific situations. . even while we acknowledge our own weakness. with these people that I will interact with. In reality. In his poem on Lent.' In both let's do our best. it was for me. to keep pursuing love of God and love of humankind. “No man knows how bad he is until he has tried very hard to be good. George Herbert reminds us of this: "It's true. God has already made his will for us perfectly clear: we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind.The Dangerous Will of God Matthew 22:37-39 March 14 I think we too often make the will of God a complex and mysterious thing. with whatever I am called to do. Yet to go part of that religious way. Prayerfully asking how we might love God and neighbor often simply reveals our own failure at the end of the day. our mortality. If we wake up each morning and ask ourselves how we might fulfill these two commandments—Lord. Yet we are bid. And yet if we prayerfully ask these questions of ourselves each day. a yearly period of time that serves as a reminder of our fleshly and messy humanity. As C. Is better than to rest: We cannot reach our Saviour's purity. with whatever unknown circumstances meet me in the hours ahead?—I think the will of God for our lives might become less esoteric. 'Be holy ev'n as he." Jessina Leonard is a sophomore student and a member of Plowshares. and our weakness. we cannot reach Christ's forti'eth day. how might I love you and love others today. or to ask if the coffee we drink was produced in a manner that does not exploit others. and love our neighbors as ourselves. and Growers First. These two questions often lead us to probe deeper: to ask what would be the best way to love a friend struggling with depression. IJM. it might also be a bit unsettling—at least.” But perhaps this recognition of failure is a necessary stance—particularly during this Lenten season. or to ask if the way we care for our bodies is honoring God. For it is often in this humble state that the Lord reveals himself to us and that we are given fresh grace to try again. Lewis wrote.S.

resurrection and ascension. . we stumble over our pride and “vain conceit” (v 3) every day. self-serving goals. What is unmistakable in Paul’s rendering is that the story of Jesus shows us that humility is the premiere Christian virtue. Jeffrey Greenman is a Professor of Christian Ethics and the Associate Dean of Biblical and Theological Studies. Paul’s simplest.March 15 Imitating Humility Phil 2:1-11 (NIV) “Who. or to achieve our own narrow. Can we sincerely say that we value others above ourselves? Are we regularly putting the interests of others ahead of our own interests? Are we selflessly using our resources for the benefit of others around us? Dr. but chose to become a lowly servant. It is a period of selfexamination. We are meant to be imitators of Jesus’ humility. He did not use his unique divine status. did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” (2:6. confession and prayer that looks ahead to the great events of Good Friday and Easter. out of generosity and love. This remarkable text tells us that Jesus gave up his divine prerogatives and became not only a mere human being. NIV) Lent is about focusing our hearts and minds on Jesus Christ. Paul’s summary of the gospel in Philippians 2 narrates the drama of Christ’s incarnation. and does so for a very practical reason: to show us how Christ’s life provides us with the exemplary model of human life. power or authority to make ourselves look good. power. to others. The spiritual challenges of this text are profound. to keep others at a distance. or authority for his own self-gain. Too often. on faculty since 2005. but gave himself entirely. being in very nature God. Yet if we are honest. From this he draws a clear and powerful lesson for our spiritual and moral lives. cross. clearest summary of the gospel identifies Jesus’ self-emptying and self-humbling as the turning point of the entire story. in our unchecked pride we use our relative advantages of status. since he “did not count equality with God something to be used to his own advantage” (v 6). Yet the example of Jesus is that self-emptying humility is the starting point if we wish to live an others-oriented life which values “others above yourselves” and does not look to one’s interests but to the interests of others (v 4).

I go with her. how marvelous. But then I make eye contact with the eyes that belong to the dirty hands And it's my sister. And it is his hands which do the restorative work. but to enter in. is suffocating. But if I smack her hands away and run. They are scarred. free to pick the flowers. Then she will see me here. But he doesn't answer. brokenness and restoration. WRETCH!" they cry. like smacking the dirty hands away and running. Another is a story of her left alone in the field. The hands promise to embrace us both. they plead with me: If you stay. and her nervous laugh tell two stories. But she cannot see him in the field. then she will see. The hands promise me it will hurt. One is the story of a little ballerina. Because the hands. And she cannot see the hands. And I will have to run forever to forget her tears. I feel like pulling away. But this time I see someone. Her stories and accounts deeply shook my life from thousands of miles away as she described scenes of poignant beauty and pain. They are his. She tells me nothing. if you endure the loneliness of the field with her. free to jump into her dad's arms. "WHORE!" but he is silent. that are pulling me into the field are not hers. If I stay in her soft embrace. Confused. where even the trees scream "WHORE!" My sister's hug. she just hugs me. then I have to accept that the dirty hands who touched her will pull me apart too. "WORTHLESS. And these hands.” 16 One of my closest friends participated in HNGR this fall. And I see that the hands are not dirty. he cries. Can I stand in the field with her. how wonderful. Someone else standing in the field. He wants us to not only look. I look again at the field. and she worked at a restoration house for young women coming out of a number of broken situations. grab at my heart and pull. then I reject her hug. Yet they are there. Because my sister's hug. her dance. her cooking. 15. the dirty hands. I look at my sister. Pam Rahman is a senior student and a Student Chaplain.She Hugs Me Psalm 49:7-8. sometimes within the same snapshot. But I cannot breathe. instead. and Jesus wants us to look. how wonderful is my savior's love for me. These images she described are images I am often afraid to look at. these dirty hands bidding me into the field. Her hands pull at my heart and it hurts. Two stories that don't make sense. the dirty hands. as my song will ever be how marvelous. while the trees scream "WHORE!"? March Even if I never forget her tears? Even if I forever hear the accusations? Even if my heart never beats quiet the same again? Heavy. with my ballerina. If I continue to love the one I see as the precious dancer in the pink dress. . the trees are screaming. At him. “The hands. Then I have to accept her two stories. in order to breathe as easily as I did before. the images I don't know what to do with. with her dirty hands. I gasp for air.

is equivalent to an act of kindness to Jesus himself. yet Jesus made a point to care for them. Holly Meath is a junior student and President of Voice for Life. and as followers of Jesus who want be like him. whether or not those around him understood the importance of those lives. Help us to spread grace and truth as we seek to care for those affected by the tragedy of abortion. lepers. Jesus tells his disciples that an act of kindness done for “the least of these. children. and yes. Forgive the sins we have committed against the most vulnerable of your children. Women. and open the eyes and hearts of the people to see the truth of their value. Amen. The unborn face injustice on a horrific scale. have mercy on our nation. Samaritans.” –Michael Spielman Jesus’ earthly ministry was full of acts of mercy towards the very lowest levels of society. and who lose their lives because of their lowliness. In the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt 25:40). he identified with them as well. Who does our society scorn and devalue the way these people had been in Jesus’ day? Who are the “least of these” for us? Yes. . These were the people society marginalized.March 17 For the Least of These Matthew 25:40 “To distance ourselves from the active condemnation of abortion. Lord. we do for Jesus.” that is. But surely the very least of these today are the ones that much of society refuses to even see as people. the ill and the exploited are in need of help. whether intentionally or not. the poor. it is our mandate to protect and care for them. the starving. is to distance ourselves from Christ. What we do for the least of these. someone we may not consider worth helping. Not only did Jesus associate with the oppressed. Jesus would have helped them. these were the oppressed and the dehumanized.

“This man is not from God. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying. he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. “No. “Go.” Having said these things. “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some said. for he does not keep the Sabbath. “Where is he?” He said. and it is he who is speaking to you. “Rabbi. “If you were blind. I believe. and those who see may become blind.” He said. “Are we also blind?” Jesus said to them. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day. “I do not know. “It is he. So they said again to the blind man. And he said to them. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him. Jesus said. “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered.” But others said.” Some of the Pharisees said. And his disciples asked him. he saw a man blind from birth. “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered. night is coming. So he went and washed and came back seeing. “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me. and said to him. ‘Go to Siloam and wash. “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them.” Jesus heard that they had cast him out. when no one can work. that I may believe in him?” Jesus said to him.” He kept saying.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things. “Lord. wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). or his parents. “He put mud on my eyes.’ your guilt remains. but now that you say. who sinned. ‘We see. As long as I am in the world.” They said to him. . but he is like him. “And who is he. I am the light of the world. but that the works of God might be displayed in him. “What do you say about him. sir. this man or his parents. since he has opened your eyes?” He said. that those who do not see may see. and having found him he said.” and he worshiped him. 35-41 (ESV) March 18 As he passed by. “You have seen him.The Fourth Sunday in Lent John 9:1-17.” They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. you would have no guilt. that he was born blind?” Jesus answered. and I washed. So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. “For judgment I came into this world. “He is a prophet.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” Others said. Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.” So they said to him. “It was not that this man sinned. “I am the man. and I see.

” God gave the patriarchs a promise about a future that would not be their own. yet he only lived to see his son Isaac born. a French Jesuit priest. I too need to trust that one day God will wipe away every tear. The patriarchs in the book of Hebrews had to believe that though they would not see results. not things seen. in those days. I am not denying the presence of joy in this life. comes to mind “Above all. but it is work that will be accomplished. . a change in perspective that will cause us to regard the afflictions of this earth as momentary. Their faith was the assurance of things hoped for. but sometimes I wonder if the joy is overshadowed by the pain. A quote from Teilhard de Chardin. Shivers run down my spine and goosebumps cover my arms every time I allow myself to reflect on it. and avenge those who have been harmed. God was at work in their midst.” I wrote those words right around this time last year. and they still delighted in him. This world is filled with its share of sorrows and pain that seem to have no achievable end. I forget at times that anything happened to me until a song. One of the most palpable representations of this hope throughout biblical history is found in the book of Hebrews. Just as Abraham believed. Their lives were spent in a prolonged state of expectancy which was never met. seemed to be my constant companion. God’s work may be slow. and they still believed that God would fulfill His promises. The joyous day of a child’s birth should never be graced with news that the child is going to die. That grief gave me a new understanding of the immense pain in the world. Sally Mindrebo is a sophomore student and part of the Justice Coalition Cabinet. trust in the slow work of God. I am humbled when I read the outline of the mothers and fathers of our faith who waited their entire lives in anticipation of the fulfillment of promises that God would honor for future generations. Yet. How could a loving and merciful God allow my beautiful niece to die before she ever had a chance to live? The seven days we had with her were too brief. and finding out that on the same day that we celebrated Mercy’s birth we would also begin to mourn her impending death. Abraham was promised that his offspring would become more numerous than the stars. Yet repeatedly in the Bible we are promised a sweet resolution. brings me back to memories.March 19 Bracing Mercy Hebrews 11 “I feel deeply wounded. a passage in a book. or even the seemingly innocuous feeling of the sun on my face brings me back to the pain. Memories of Dad calling me while I was at Saga for dinner. Grief. for us to get to know her. too momentary. I tire of waiting for the peace and reconciliation that God has promised again and again will one day be fully realized. and I must learn to root my faith in that promise. I tire of waiting.

Rather. Following the biblical narrative. the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. nor the other of divine punishment: “Let us learn from this man not to call the rich fortunate nor the poor unfortunate. or righteous and good in poverty. or abuse him? Is he condemned only because he is rich. George Kalantzis is an Associate Professor of Theology and the Director of the Center for Early Christian Studies. the rich man failed to share his own. on faculty since 2007. . the life of self-indulgence (the true unrighteousness in this story) against the life of patient suffering. argues Chrysostom. miss the point of the story: “Indeed Lazarus suffered no injustice from the rich man. Chrysostom neither lingers voyeuristically on the suffering of Lazarus nor delights in the plight of the rich man.From Patronage to Philanthropia: Lessons from Lazarus and the Rich Man (Part 1) Luke 16:14-31 March 20 As the year 388 dawned in the Syrian city of Antioch. or is God a respecter of persons. was a wealthy man?” All these objections. John. On the contrary. For though he did not take Lazarus’ money.” Dr. the rich man is not the one who has collected many possessions but the one who needs few possessions.” declares St.” but his offense was much greater: it was the crime of indifference. On the contrary. Chrysostom is very careful to note that there was nothing intrinsically evil or unrighteous or vile in wealth itself. if we are to tell the truth. John Chrysostom took the opportunity to preach a series of sermons on Luke 16:14-31. St. “indeed this too is theft. as such. St. Chrysostom juxtaposes the luxury of the one and the poverty of the other. “See the man and his works. he insists that both states are neutral—one is not a sign of divine favor. not to share one’s possessions. John anticipates the objection: “Why should the rich man suffer such a terrible fate? What is his crime? Did he do something evil to Lazarus? Did he steal from him? Did he oppress. too.” This trope of irony is not a jubilant eschatological moment of social reversal or a call for the overthrow of social order. for the rich man did not take Lazarus’ money. He is very careful not to trivialize one or vulgarize the other. punish. for Abraham. and the poor man is not the one who has no possessions but the one who has many desires.

on the other. but for you to distribute to those in need. to see him stepping over the threshold of his courtyard where the suppliant Lazarus would lay incapable of uttering the customary words to entreat for the alms that never came. . is not simply a heuristic device—he is us. even perhaps the Temple to offer sacrifices for his sins. rather than the former. and to distribute it to those in need: “For our money is the Lord’s. the Church is called to be stewards—the image Chrysostom uses is that of the imperial oikonomos. as well as a community. do not judge him.” And he concludes. blind indifference.” we call it “care. His life. individually. For if you wish to show kindness. you must not require an accounting of a person’s life. by indolence. The rich man. and frees them from danger. and all the other kinds of indolence. He notes that Abraham did not ask an account of the strangers’ life when he was visited near the great trees of Mamre. St. So you likewise.March 21 Luke 16:14-31 From Patronage to Philanthropia: Lessons from Lazarus and the Rich Man (Part 2) Like Israel of old. “The almsgiver is a harbor for those in necessity: a harbor receives all who have encountered shipwreck. to put his alms in the box of the poor and come back to his home. Bracketed by utopian dreams of the kingdom on earth. “communion” with his friends. even ecclesial institutions will be deeply affected by these wisps of “worthiness” and “unworthiness” (we usually frame the discussion in terms of “most profitable use of limited resources”).” St. and not by the language of “gift. always oriented on the axis of the fundamental distinction of “us” and “them. to go to the marketplace. but free him from his misfortune.” “worthy” poor privileged over the “hopeless” and “unproductive. He exhorts us to give without the imposition of limitations on those who receive. was also oriented by indifference. as is manifested by our own ambivalence towards the poor. The preacher invites us to see the daily routine of this man.” who is looked upon with contempt? And though exceptions are sometimes made for the mentally ill. but merely correct his poverty and fill his need.” without distinction or limitations.” and “abundance. His orientation was one of not simply indifference. George Kalantzis is an Associate Professor of Theology and the Director of the Center for Early Christian Studies. on the one hand. Yet. nor did he require them to change their ways but “he simply welcomed all who were passing by. Chrysostom argues in these homilies. Not by ominous or phantasmagoric eccentricities.” This is the idiosyncratic Christian move from “reciprocity” to “gift” and from “patronage” to philanthropia. whether they are bad or good or whatever they are who are in danger. but by commodities of satisfaction and self-indulgence (religious as well as economic).” ready for another lavish banquet. it escorts them into its own shelter. Only now we do not call it “patronage.” We are not that much different from the rich man in the story. on faculty since 2007. Dr. our lives are routinely oriented. But we do not live in fourth-century Antioch. John’s prescription for the care of the poor springs out of the latter. after a day full of social and religious observance to walk past Lazarus once more and enter his house “clean” and “satisfied. do not seek an account of his life. but a self-referential. fancy food. John tells us. when you see on earth the man who has encountered the shipwreck of poverty. Our own lives are oriented by the same axes of patronage and guided by the same expectations of reciprocity. expensive clothes. the household steward—of God’s wealth.” “grace. accepting without question that space and time in modern life are not so structured as to orient us to the end of Christ.” How often is the “get-your-self-up-by-your-bootstraps. however we may have gathered it…This is why God has allowed you to have more: not for you to waste on drink. God’s provisions. we find ourselves in unrelenting flux. each of us. and apocalyptic nightmares of the eschaton.

Jesus says that we should give up ourselves. that we might have the possibility to be holy also. These six words are part of Jesus's prayer in the 17th chapter of John. John's gospel is remarkable in that it includes whole chapters of information about a single incident. wewill receive a hundred fold in the life to come. but we are not expected to do this in our own strength. Does this extend to thosewe don't know personally—the poor and persecuted. Someone may ask us what we plan to give up for lent this year. . Though He was the Son of God. And God'sprinciple is that whatever we sacrifice in this life by emptying ourselves of our own desires. "That we may share His holiness" (Hebrews 12:10) is how the writer of Hebrews puts it. useful to the Master" (II Timothy 2:21). Do we have any idea what this might mean? Everything in our culture encourages selfishness and self-gratification. Robert Brabenec is a Professor of Mathematics. but to minister" (Mark 10:45). such as the woman at the well in chapter 4 or the man born blind in chapter 9. The example of Jesus encourages us to emulate Him by sanctifying ourselves for the sakeof others. those enslaved by wicked men and women? What boundaries did Jesus put on the distribution of His love? This is a hard saying. followed by an entire chapter of His prayer to the Father. sanctified. "not to be ministered unto. I sanctify Myself" (John 17:19). So "strengthen the hands that are weak and theknees that are feeble" (Hebrews 12:12). He sanctified Himself for our sakes. He sets Himself to be holy. We have an extended treatment in chapters 14 to 16 of Jesus's last teachings to the disciples before His death.“I Sanctify Myself” John 17:19 March 22 "For their sakes. He came. "For their sakes. Jesus encourages us to practice self-denial so that we can be a"vessel for honor. So much of the life of Jesus was given for the sake of others. on faculty since 1964 and is the faculty advisor for Wheaton International Justice Mission. I sanctify myself?” Dr. It may be one thing for us to sanctify ourselves for the sake of family members and friends. He "emptied Himself" (Philippians 2:7). Will we repeat after Jesus. He "lay down His life for the sheep" (John 10:15).

Epaphroditus became critically ill. who similarly laid his life on the line for others (see 2:8). he was taking up his cross and following Christ. she was diagnosed with Hepatitis A. Soon after. my daughter reminds me of a person in the New Testament who would have been a perfect role model for her. was sent to Rome to minister to Paul who was in prison there (4:18). Vlachos is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of New Testament and the administrator of Wheaton’s Ph. the illness was serious. a man who was honored by the early church for his commitment. and emotional needs of those around you? What regions or neighborhoods are you walking through in the service of Christ? Are you willing to go out on a limb. my daughter became as sick as a dog. is no surprise. whatever the illness. whose sacrifice we especially recall during this Lenten season. Perhaps he became run down during the long journey between Philippi and Rome. He became. responded to the need. Dr. It’s no wonder that Paul. if I may ask—what risks are you presently taking to meet the spiritual. She voluntarily traded places with a parent so that she could be upstairs to hear the guest speaker. placing your health and even your life on the line to serve others? If so. on faculty since 2007. Epaphroditus. Either in Rome or on his way there. Chris A. Whatever the cause. In essence. exactly what his illness was. physical. exhorts the Philippians to receive and honor him. Yet his risk-taking love is an example for all believers to follow.March 23 Epaphroditus: The Patron Saint of Risk-takers Philippians 2:25-30 (NASB) Some years ago. We don’t know. and his story is found in Philippians 2:25-30. and became sick and nearly died on behalf of that need. But more important. as he sends Epaphroditus back to his home church. And in doing this. who similarly became ill in the line of Christian duty. So. Ephaphroditus recognized a need. You are following in the steps of the Lord Jesus Christ. or maybe he fell prey to a disease while passing through a disease-infested region. She contracted the disease in our church nursery while caring for a child who was a carrier. as Paul graphically says in the original Greek. it was contracted “for the work of Christ” (2:30). “a next door neighbor to death” (2:27). My daughter was not scheduled to be in the nursery that day. His name is Epaphroditus. . As I think back to this. a member of the church in Philippi. That Epaphroditus would come to mind as I thought of my daughter.D program. you are not only following in the footsteps of Epaphroditus. my daughter became ill in the service of Christ.

nor any powers. “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble. in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. People society happily forgets. horror. People with scars are a lot of things: dangerous. will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Joel 2:25 NIV) Let us remember the prisoners. Maybe that is one reason why it is taboo to speak of such things in many Christian circles. all fall short. We would rather leave shadowy things in the shadows. For I am convinced that neither death nor life. deeply believe that in many cases. All have sinned. Survivors. No.” (John 8:32 NIV) Let’s turn the telescope away from our neighbors’ dirty windows and focus in on our own broken glasses. but woe to the person through whom they come!” (Matthew 18:6-7 NIV) I truly. Love in our lives brings freedom. Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come. Awakened. Justice begins with truth. The lucky ones get money from the state. nor anything else in all creation. or shame of sexual abuse. Not victims. I have come to believe that some stories are for everyone and some only for a few. (Romans 8:37-40 NIV) Stories are for telling. Every day people walk freely when their victims have no earthly justice. and our relationships are broken. “Then you will know the truth.More than Conquerors Romans 8:37-40 March 24 Consider atrocities. Julia Kaiser is a senior student and part of the Justice Coalition cabinet. Can we claim a promise of restoration? Restoration not merely to autonomy. neither the present nor the future. there is no real justice to be had on earth— but I do believe in justice. Do you feel safe every day? Most of the time? Many of us have never experienced the trauma. some of us come from remarkably intact and functional backgrounds. it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. no one gets their time back. even fearless. but founded on the twin anchors of Truth and Love? “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. We are all equals standing before a searingly holy Lord. Suppose a wrongly-convicted person is exonerated after years of imprisonment. neither angels nor demons. I find I can choose to trust and obey the God I find revealed in the Bible. and the truth will set you free. . neither height nor depth. resilient. Still. It happens more often than you think. At the end of the day.

Jesus said. “See how he loved him!” But some of them said. “Lord. but was still at the place where Martha had met him. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming. come and see. “I am the resurrection and the life. and a stone was lying against it. and let him go. even though they die.” When she had said this. “Lord. So the Jews said. “Lord. I thank you for having heard me. and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them about their brother. “Where have you laid him?” They said to him. Lord. I knew that you always hear me. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask of him. I believe that you are the Messiah. again greatly disturbed. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem. Those who believe in me. she knelt at his feet and said to him.March 25 The Fifth Sunday in Lent John 11:17-45 (NRSV) When Jesus arrived. and his face wrapped in a cloth. “Your brother will rise again. the Son of God. the one coming into the world. believed in him. Martha said to Jesus.” Martha. my brother would not have died. He said. and told her privately. but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here. Do you believe this?” She said to him. and the Jews who came with her also weeping. “Yes.” When Jesus saw her weeping.” Many of the Jews therefore. “Unbind him. so that they may believe that you sent me. “Take away the stone. she got up quickly and went to him. They followed her because they thought that she was going to the tomb to weep there. she went and met him. “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day. come out!” The dead man came out. you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. said to him. consoling her. already there is a stench because he has been dead four days. “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus. if you had been here. he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. . When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him.” When he had said this. Now Jesus had not yet come to the village. “Lazarus. if you had been here. he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. “Lord.” Jesus said to her.” Martha said to him.”And when she heard it. And Jesus looked upward and said. who had come with Mary and had seen what Jesus did. his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth. The Jews who were with her in the house.” Jesus said to her. she went back and called her sister Mary. and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. saw Mary get up quickly and go out.”Jesus began to weep. “Did I not tell you that if you believed. It was a cave. “Father. some two miles away. he cried with a loud voice. the sister of the dead man. “The Teacher is here and is calling for you. Jesus said to them. will live.” Jesus said to her. came to the tomb. while Mary stayed at home. my brother would not have died.

Pray for a problem whose answer may not be found in your lifetime: the easy resettlement of refugees in Wheaton. I try to pray silently and my thoughts wander. silent God. Rachel Topazian is a sophomore student and part of the Justice Coalition cabinet. I write out prayers and my hand begins to cramp. and more loving than our parents. victory in the war against HIV/AIDS. he also gives us the opportunity to wait on him. . It is easy to forget that though his replies are speedy. my mind. and let your heart take courage. He is more interested than our professors. Too often they are not intercessions for my neighbor but selfish pleas for God’s attention. I struggle to immerse my body. be strong. pray for a specific justice issue whose resolution will require waiting. but I fear others will hear. but God is the best possible recipient of our prayers. Although I am one of the elect. my prayers are not uttered day and night. We may fail to pray as we should. That God would come racing to our sides with speedy justice. Often I think that God is withholding something I deserve when I can’t hear his response. more understanding than our roommates.Wait for the Lord! Luke 18:1-8 March 26 Prayer can be exhausting. imagine what God will do if we ask! These verses imply that if we are indeed God’s elect we would be crying out to him day and night. wait for the Lord!” Today. but intermittently and inconsistently. an end to human trafficking. Psalm 27:14 reminds us of this: “Wait for the Lord. a stop to the LRA’s reign of terror in central Africa. I pray aloud. He wants us to choose to put our hope in him. and my emotions in prayer to an invisible. If corrupt politicians like the one in Luke 18 can be nagged into doing justice. Pray knowing that God will deliver justice in response to the prayers of his faithful followers.

”? Dan Taylor is the Residence Director of Fischer Hall. an uncaring tyrant allowing suffering for his own ends with no thought to our ultimate good. despair. Winston Smith. Jesus exemplifies perfectly the movement toward God and others—not after brokenness has been healed and I can stand whole and hope-filled to testify to God’s goodness—but despite the fact that it is unresolved. I do not love a God distant from my suffering. and go into survival mode to the exclusion of others. but whether he was good. I will be faithful and provide for my own. or more precisely. is tortured for his rebellion against Big Brother and The Party. self-pity be the reason I turn from others. I began to find more solid ground underfoot as I recognized the different ways I can respond to suffering when I’m in the midst of it. Suffering takes on a huge role in this story as the protagonist. present in the midst of it. he looks with tenderness on his mother and provides for her needs in the midst of his suffering. persecution. to care for others. The question I face is the same as that posed by the book of Job— not why is this happening to me? but will I be faithful in the midst of this? Will my stress. It seems like there is a God-less suffering and a God-ward suffering. humiliated. God-less suffering is ultimately moving away from God and toward myself—it contracts my world and my vision so only my needs and desires are important. and suffocating incrementally with every attempted breath. disappointment. God-ward suffering is suffering that opens me up to God. anger. not my right. but this is. in fact. anxiety. sickness. not about whether there was a god. doubt. bloody. That is what is so striking about Jesus on the cross. “Yes. I often tell myself I have a right to turn inward. In this passage. the point of the torture is not ultimately to elicit information or even as punishment but to form him into the kind of person The Party wants him to be. but a God who has entered into suffering and redefined it. giving into self-pity. to make him love Big Brother and The Party. disillusionment. depression. . a Big Brother aloof and disconnected. exhausted. how different responses move me in different directions. Chillingly. or the very vehicle by which I am carried towards others and ultimately toward the Good God who has himself walked the road of suffering and in the midst of it looked out with tenderness upon his mother.March 27 Suffering God-ward John 19:25-27 The novel 1984 caused me to sink into the familiar depths of doubt and uncertainty. to see others’ suffering more clearly and compassionately because of my own. injury. looked out with tenderness and gazed through the centuries at me and said. hurt. and to others—to love others. though torn. This use of suffering as formative hit too close to home and made me start brooding over whether God was just some despot.

god send easter and we will lace the jungle on and step out brilliant as birds against the concrete country feathers waving as we dance toward jesus sun reflecting mango and apple as we glory in our skin spring song the green of Jesus is breaking the ground and the sweet smell of delicious Jesus is opening the house and the dance of Jesus music has hold of the air and the world is turning in the body of Jesus and the future is possible Dr. It also inaugurates the Kingdom of God in us. gloriously. and glorify even our sin-scarred carcasses. but are the condition for the possibility of new experiences. “if God’s got the whole world in his hands. we long for Christ and seek the power of His promise. we still need to pray “Your Kingdom come. She cupped an imaginary globe in her marker-stained fingers and said. illustrate this long longing and the glorious glory of Christ our hope. but . They do not result from experiences. My two favorite poems by Lucille Clifton. that “hope’s statements of promise . make hope something we can be a part of. he will take care of it so nothing bad can happen. This afternoon. is precisely the condition of hope. God’s promise to us—our hope—is made visible in the resurrected body of Jesus on Easter. . . when expressed in prayer and action. Theologian Jürgen Moltmann writes in a must-read book The Theology of Hope. and which can renew the ruins of our world. And. That longing is why both our world and our persistently sinful bodies seem so contradictory and troubling. Yet despite this. that longing and seeking. They do not seek to illuminate the reality which exists. Paul tells us. . whose sin-rotted bodies are granted a future and a hope in the Body of the resurrected Christ. . It is something that transforms us as we long for it. . on faculty since 2005. But that’s what we long for—for God’s power and glory and justice to triumph. Tiffany Eberle Kriner is an Associate Professor of English. Yet this dissatisfaction. must stand in contradiction to the reality which can at present be experienced. right?” Parental theological challenge #587.The Promise of Hope Romans 8:22-25 March 28 Christ’s resurrection inaugurates the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. the difference between “nothing bad can happen. to lead existing reality towards the promised and hoped-for transformation” (18). Because of the difference between these sinful bodies and the coming resurrected bodies.” We learn this pretty young. my six-year-old daughter and I were talking about God’s power over and care for the earth.” and the often inconceivable trouble in our world. an African-American poet.

I began to wax philosophical to myself. And then. Jesus. yet in pain. I was alone with my thoughts. A light wherein darkness flees and hope is made visible. disease. I was comforted. on faculty since 2003. A resurrected Savior who takes away all the sin of the world and in its place offers life: an invitation to be awake in a dark world offering redemption and the power of His Spirit within us. I was rushed to the ER. The smallest amount of light caused me to feel nauseous and by the time we reached home I needed help getting from the car into my bed. I realized there are many in this world that are born and will see the grave without love. It dawned on me: the common human experience is suffering. there in that hospital bed. Love was a common human experience. for there is an empty tomb. who took the sorrow of the world upon him. I could not stand without throwing up and my head pounded with unbearable pain. One person even sang over me a song they said the Lord had given them. they may never know a gentle touch or a kind word. wondering aloud what the common human experience was. says come and lay your burdens down. After several tests it was discovered that I had spinal meningitis. Daniel T. the Residence Director of Smith-Traber Hall. I realized too that the cross is not the end of the story. . and is married to Kat Haase.March 29 Awake. injustice. Upon sitting with this however. I woke early in the morning and knew something was seriously wrong. These days are indeed evil and filled with brokenness. But we have the light of Christ—a burning light that warms as well as refines. I began to think about those who live in tragedy daily and whose life experience is defined by abuse. O Sleeper Ephesians 5:13-16 Several years ago I found myself in the hospital. He gave life that we might have life. I could not eat. The night before. My first thought was love. One afternoon. This is why Jesus is so appealing and his love so compelling. I realized experientially why the cross matters. and brokenness. Haase is the Internship Coordinator of the Christian Formation and Ministry Department. an intense headache began. I spent the next five days in a hospital bed unable to raise my head to more than a thirty-degree angle without intense pressure and pain building. after watching a movie with some friends. People came and prayed for me. I could not read.

who fully knows us.” and “Backslider. wondering what precedes pride. This behavior is so contrary to real life that it seeks to be rationalized and validated and can only do so pharisaically. fear precedes pride. we have burdened others with the anxiety of our well intended but deficient love. When I think about this. Dr. nobody we’ve ever loved has been loved perfectly by us as well.” “Carnal. like that in a pyramid. The true Kingdom of God is made up of broken men and women mended by the love and mercy of God. perhaps we can legitimately say it is at the apex of all sin. is always supported by that which is much more substantive at its base. He comes to us with incarnate grace in our darkest hours to restore us to his love. on faculty since 1996. In pride. implied in this is the expectation that everyone should be perfect in our subculture. the Assistant Director of the Billy Graham Institute for Strategic Evangelism. Only God. . Jerry Root is an Associate Professor. I disagree. The community moves into grace-denying constructs as pride is the pretense masking fear and insecurity. So. I come up with words like insecurity or fear.Perfect Love Casts Out Fear: The Antidote to Pride 1 John 4:18 March 30 I love C. In this sense. The Bible says that the antidote to fear is the love of God. perhaps because it is so deeply imbedded in our fallen sense of self. In Mere Christianity he wrote that he thought pride was the greatest sin. “Perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). But there is a point where I disagree with him. He is also an advisor for Voice for Life. S. But an apex. If we marginalized the strugglers in our midst with words like “Out of fellowship. the tendency is to make myself look better than I am because I fear if folks really and truly knew me as I am they might reject me. and the Director of the Wheaton Evangelism Institute. Lewis’s work. In other words. and pride is at the apex of the pyramid. this false expectation breeds pretense. pride is at the end of a process. can love us thoroughly with the transformative love that casts out fear. and. And this fear is often insipid in most human subcultures. None of us has ever been loved perfectly by anybody. than the greatest sin at the very base of the pyramid is to neglect the love of God in our lives. Yet still. In this Lenten season we can reflect anew on His great love for us. Everybody goes about trying to make themselves look better than they actually are. Since nobody is perfect. or pretense. Pride is certainly bad. I think a corollary to this is that imperfect love breeds anxiety. Each of us is saddled with the burden of anxiety by well meaning folks who loved us as well as they might but were incapable of loving us perfectly. Of course it gets worse. if my analogy is correct.” though nobody would say it explicitly. We will turn to anything in His place and these things always leave us empty after a time.

and we will believe him. Jesus’ “perfection is his obedience. the way of our salvation. if he desires him. “And those who passed by derided him. saying. come down from the cross. Finally. It is precisely because Jesus patiently refuses to save himself that his death accomplishes the salvation of others–the salvation of the world. on faculty since 2000. mocked him. he cannot save himself. ‘He saved others. Hans Urs von Balthsar identifies patience as the “basic constituent of Christianity.’’ And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matthew 27:39-44). expectation. For he said. let him come down now from the cross. ‘You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. It is most evident as he hangs dying on the cross and bears the mocking of others. all for the sake of humanity and the world’s salvation. David Lauber is an Associate Professor of Theology. which does not anticipate. but to victory. As we reflect on the road that Jesus walked towards the cross we cannot help but see that he quickly and intensely became one who was acted upon–he was handed over by Judas. and anticipation. let God deliver him now. scourging. burial. Jesus’ patience in the face of mocking and derision leads not to failure and disgrace. Jesus’ patience is seen throughout his life and ministry. . ‘I am the Son of God. alert in awaiting the leading of God. those who are called to be his disciples must take up a life of patient obedience. with the scribes and elders. wagging their heads and saying. save yourself! If you are the Son of God. Patience should mark us as we make our way to Holy Week and the arrest.’ So also the chief priests.” According to Balthasar.” Jesus is the one who is led and does not overreach. Jesus’ apparent powerlessness becomes. He trusts in God. and placed in a tomb. who sets us on our own patient path of following Jesus and his call. Lent ought to be a time when we realize clearly that we are followers of Jesus from a distance. We observe the way of Jesus and attend to the leading of the Holy Spirit. in fact. put on trial. following. trial.March 31 Patient Obedience Matthew 27:39-44 (ESV) In an insightful treatment of the person and mission of Jesus. He is the King of Israel. And as such. and he patiently endured the action of others. Dr. he was raised from the dead. which of course is a time of waiting. Jesus obediently followed the leading of his Father. and resurrection of Jesus. nailed to a cross. crucifixion. This focus on Jesus’ patience is especially relevant for Lent. subject to mocking and beating.

Nor scorned that little children should on His bidding wait. And in His blissful presence eternally rejoice! Jeanette Threlfall. Hosanna. the crowds answered. The Lord of men and angels rode on in lowly state. who had blessed them close folded to His breast. and he healed them. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the stools of those who sold pigeons. But you are making it a hideout for thieves!’” The blind and the crippled came to him in the Temple. Through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang. ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer.Palm Sunday Matthew 21:6-14 (GNT) April 1 So the disciples went and did what Jesus had told them to do: they brought the donkey and the colt. the simplest and the best. To Jesus. The crowds walking in front of Jesus and those walking behind began to shout. O may we ever praise Him with heart and life and voice. 1873 . loud hosanna.” Jesus went into the Temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling there. the whole city was thrown into an uproar. “This is the prophet Jesus. the little children sang. and said to them. For Christ is our Redeemer. The children sang their praises. the Lord of heaven our King. “Hosanna in the highest!” that ancient song we sing. threw their cloaks over them. from Nazareth in Galilee. The victor palm branch waving. A large crowd of people spread their cloaks on the road while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. “Who is he?” the people asked. From Olivet they followed mid an exultant crowd. “Praise to David's Son! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise be to God!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem. and Jesus got on. “It is written in the Scriptures that God said. and chanting clear and loud.

But.” Jesus must have looked into their eyes and through to their future. Yes. the whole request missed the point. really was something. Jesus was going to make things different than the way it was before. and their high officials exercise authority over them. they would not have answered so quickly and certainly. that “exercising authority. seems to contradict following Jesus? I doubt that I really can grasp what all this means.April 2 Can You Drink the Cup I Drink? Mark 10: 35-45 James and John had discovered an opportunity.” as appealing as it appears to me. Yet it always reminds me of my new covenant. They were now associated with the Crucified. this Messiah. . Not so with you. James and John did not understand this. Otherwise. Deferential centurions. Adam Sawyer is a senior student and a member of Plowshares. No more glory. Jesus was coming to terms with what was before him. So they asked for a seat at Jesus’ right and left. Goosebumps rarely come. Can you drink the cup I drink?” On his march to Jerusalem. James and John could feel it. ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them. I see myself sitting with those foolish disciples. “but to sit at my right and left is not for me to grant. yes. I will drink that cup of suffering. Jesus responded flatly. A natural request. No more power. Communion can usually seem rather normal.” After all. the disciples broke bread and drank from the cup. Clearly. This man. Did they know what they were doing? Did they understand what they had gotten themselves into by doing this with Jesus? No more power. When Jesus asked them what they wanted. No more prestige. “You do not know what you are asking. Baffled Pharisees. “You will drink the cup I drink. Did I fathom the significance of the decision when I first took the cup? What have I gotten myself into? Am I now in a position to recognize that I cannot lay claim to power. The cup was the cross. the Sons of Zebedee were going to suffer. the Sons of Zebedee were not going to pass this up. “We can.” Jesus promised.’” Later. “Jesus called them together and said. and the cross was death.

They had palatial plans for what life after Calvary would and would not look like. The disciples encounter with Jesus models two things for those whose lives are hid with Christ in God: 1) The Eucharistic meal—where believing is seeing Jesus Christ as we feast on His body and blood and where our hearts burn within us due to the reality that “the Lord has risen indeed” (Luke 24:34). the disciples finally saw the Jesus who had walked the Emmaus Road with them. And herein they also reveal that they had bought wholesale the lie that seeing is believing since they didn’t believe the women’s report. It is a hallmark of belief. to whom they extended hospitality. But Jesus ushered in an eternal kingdom where believing is seeing. Back to the Emmaus Road where the disciples are cussing and discussing their dismal fortunes. and where seeing and believing the words of our Lord. the disciples saw a stranger created in God’s image. just as the disciples did. the immigrant and the indigenous. and to lodge with them. The remarkable thing about what happens next is easily dismissed. upon seeing it with their own eyes and then hearing the stranger in their midst (Jesus) expound the Scriptures concerning His very own resurrection. the first is last and the last is first. . and welcomed this vulnerable traveler into their home—entertaining Jesus unaware. they are downtrodden precisely because they believed that seeing is believing.000 from a few loaves and fish each Sabbath. “When he was at the table with them. Jesus wasn’t there. They sarcastically apprise the clueless man. Who and what do your eyes of faith see? Believing is seeing. While they couldn’t see Jesus on the Emmaus Road. Believing. “he is not here. he has risen seemed to them an idle tale” (Luke 24:6). when they went to see for themselves. Jesus saw the widow and the wealthy. Jesus was dead. but had to go verify the empty tomb on their own! Of course. he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Believing. about the death of the good prophet. transforming their post-Golgotha world from one of utter hopelessness where seeing is believing to one of eternal hope where believing is seeing. When we meet Jesus’ disciples on the Emmaus Road. The empty tomb confirmed the temporal theory that seeing is believing—no Jesus. on faculty since 2007. they reveal just how intently they believed that Jesus should have been their ticket to political redemption and religious fame—“…we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). was not enough to placate their doubt. the Samaritan and the Saint.Seeing is Believing? John 20:29. and they recognized him and he vanished from their sight” (Luke 24:30-31). when they meet a stranger who inquires about all the fuss. And seeing that He was gone. In doing so. We must locate ourselves on the Emmaus Road and in the meal that follows. Perhaps they thought that prosperity gospel would be their reward for marauding around in the ragamuffin band that was Jesus’ crew. Hospitality requires seeing. they still did not believe. no resurrection. they believed that there was little hope. they did see a stranger. Larycia Hawkins is an Assistant Professor of Political Science. but is necessary to grasp the significance of one momentous moment at one presumably brief meal. to sup with them. And their eyes were opened. who clearly doesn’t take the New York Times or watch CNN. 2) The table of hospitality—where in the breaking of bread we invite others to have their eyes opened to see Jesus. Luke 24:13-35 (ESV) April 3 An old adage says. Thus. They begged the stranger to continue on with them. Despite their unbelief. it is clear that the disciples had learned a thing or two from Jesus. Perhaps they had visions of Jesus at the helm of a megachurch. Dr. seeing is believing. but He had performed mighty deeds and talked big talk. the prodigal and the Pharisee. Believing is seeing people and the world through the eyes of Christ. feeding 5. Whatever the case. The faithful report of Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of God that the Lord was not in the tomb for he “had risen as he said”.

Amen Audrey Smith is a sophomore student and part of the Justice Coalition cabinet. Her husband had gotten word that it would soon be their turn to immigrate to the United States. “Of all the diseases I have known. that though we all feel alone at times. Teach us to care for the interests of others and help us to notice those in need. a refugee from a Karen village in Burma. They leave everything they know behind to live in a country they can’t really call their own. my God. crying out. Judas Iscariot. loneliness is the worst. Thank you. Eli. But that day. One of his closest friends. In the last moments before his death. That’s when I realized that refugees must be some of the loneliest people in the world. . too. Father. had been working for my family since we moved to Northern Thailand nearly three years before. “My God. knew loneliness. I watched one of the sweetest women I have ever known cry her heart out on my front porch. “Eli. surrounded by people who will never truly understand them. Thank you for stepping into our world so that we can know that You have felt what we feel. You have promised that You will never leave us nor forsake us. Comfort those on this campus who are struggling with loneliness. why have you forsaken me?” Join me in thanking God for understanding our loneliness and praying for those in our community and around the world who are currently struggling with this terrible ‘disease’. After escaping from Burma in the 1980s. we were some of her closest friends. Dear God. Moolah and her husband lived in a refugee camp for nearly twenty years before leaving to find work. As Mother Teresa once said. As we said our goodbyes. My family tried to hold back our tears—we wanted so badly to be strong for her—but our hearts melted when she finally drove away. betrayed him for a few pieces of silver. she had to go back. The rest of Christ’s disciples scattered at the time of his greatest sorrow. she told us that even though we were only able to communicate through Thai (a language which neither she nor my family spoke fluently). Give us opportunities to be friends to the lonely. lema sabachthani?”. Moolah. and they had to be present at the camp when their name was called. We lift up the refugees around the world—and even here in Wheaton—who don’t have a place to call home or friends to call their own. Jesus even felt abandoned by God.” Christ.April 4 The Worst Disease Matthew 28:20 One autumn afternoon in 2008.

I say to you. “Even though they all fall away. And he said to his disciples.” And when he came. saying the same words.” And Jesus said to him. for it is written. which is poured out for many. before the rooster crows twice.” And immediately. from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. the hour might pass from him.” And he took a cup. And he said to them. and they all drank of it.’ But after I am raised up. I will not deny you. see. I will not. “You will all fall away.” And they all left him and fled. and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them. ‘I will strike the shepherd. “This is my blood of the covenant. saying. this very night. Yet not what I will. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.” And he took with him Peter and James and John. but what you will. let us be going. The spirit indeed is willing. And he came the third time and said to them. the hour has come. And again he came and found them sleeping. and with him a crowd with swords and clubs. Father. “Truly. Rise.” And he came and found them sleeping. my betrayer is at hand. I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God. “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough. I will go before you to Galilee.” And when they had sung a hymn. Seize him and lead him away under guard. but the flesh is weak. And Jesus said to them. “Have you come out as against a robber.Holy Thursday Mark 14:22-50 (ESV) April 5 And as they were eating. Judas came. Remain here and watch. and the sheep will be scattered. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Truly. And they laid hands on him and seized him. Now the betrayer had given them a sign. are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. and began to be greatly distressed and troubled.” And again he went away and prayed. And Jesus said to them. with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching.” But he said emphatically. “Sit here while I pray. “Simon. while he was still speaking. “Take. “Abba. And he said to them. all things are possible for you. “If I must die with you. and they did not know what to answer him. “My soul is very sorrowful. . and when he had given thanks he gave it to them. you will deny me three times. even to death. he took bread. and said. And they went to a place called Gethsemane. for their eyes were very heavy. And he said. I tell you. if it were possible.” And they all said the same. Remove this cup from me. But one of those who stood by drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. they went out to the Mount of Olives. and you did not seize me. one of the twelve. and he said to Peter. this is my body. “The one I will kiss is the man. he fell on the ground and prayed that.” And going a little farther.” Peter said to him. he went up to him at once and said. “Rabbi!” And he kissed him.

Those who passed by derided him. lema sabachthani?’ which means. so that we may see and believe. King of the Jews!’ They struck his head with a reed. and divided his clothes among them. to carry his cross. they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him.’ And with him they crucified two bandits. but he did not take it. Now when the centurion. he said. were also mocking him among themselves and saying. filled a sponge with sour wine. and gave it to him to drink. they put it on him. spat upon him. When it was noon. they said. Eloi. who stood facing him. ‘Eloi. It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. They compelled a passer-by. casting lots to decide what each should take. ‘My God. save yourself. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). the father of Alexander and Rufus. it was Simon of Cyrene.’ And someone ran. saw that in this way he breathed his last. come down from the cross now. who was coming in from the country. one on his right and one on his left.April 6 Good Friday Mark 15:16-39 (NRSV) Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is. At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. from top to bottom. Let the Messiah. ‘Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days. ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’ . the governor’s headquarters). ‘Listen. And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh. and come down from the cross!’ In the same way the chief priests. and knelt down in homage to him. my God. the King of Israel. saying. he cannot save himself.’ Those who were crucified with him also taunted him. along with the scribes. shaking their heads and saying. put it on a stick.And they clothed him in a purple cloak. And they began saluting him. why have you forsaken me?’ When some of the bystanders heard it. let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down. ‘The King of the Jews.’ Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. he is calling for Elijah. After mocking him. And they crucified him. and after twisting some thorns into a crown. darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. ‘He saved others. The inscription of the charge against him read. and they called together the whole cohort. Then they led him out to crucify him. ‘Hail. ‘Wait.

death. so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. and resurrection. Wait upon the Lord with them. “Is it over? Are you there? What was that? Where do we go now?” It is okay to doubt. Take time today to place yourself in the mind of the disciples after Jesus was buried. Joseph of Arimathea took a risk and went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. But remain faithful. doubt. Unlike the disciples. Pray to God. and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come. .Holy Saturday Mark 15:42-47 (NLT) April 7 This all happened on Friday. the day of preparation. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where Jesus’ body was laid. and mourn with them. wrapped it in the cloth. Joseph bought a long sheet of linen cloth. As evening approached. Sit in silence with them. we have hope. intensely human nature of Jesus’ life.the day before the Sabbath. The officer confirmed that Jesus was dead. Then he took Jesus’ body down from the cross. and laid it in a tomb that had been carved out of the rock. We know how the story ends. It is important to remember the messy. Then he rolled a stone in front of the entrance. But it is important to remember today that they did not. mysterious. Wonder. Take Sabbath rest together with them.) Pilate couldn’t believe that Jesus was already dead. (Joseph was an honored member of the high council. so he called for the Roman officer and asked if he had died yet.

Alleluia! to the Savior who has gained the victory. as he said. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead. but some doubted. Lord. Which will all its full abundance at His second coming yield: Then the golden ears of harvest will their heads before Him wave. Christ is risen. alleluia! Hearts to Heaven and voices raise: Sing to God a hymn of gladness. go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee.April 8 Easter Sunday Matthew 28:1-10. on the holy Easter morn. here on earth may fruitful be. Christopher Wadsworth. alleluia! Glory be to God on high. for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. he is going before you to Galilee. teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. and life immortal. Christ. Christ from death to life is born. Jesus Christ.” Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee. for he has risen. I am with you always. and ran to tell his disciples. And by angel hands be gathered. 1862 . Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. Jesus met them and said. That we. the King of glory.” Alleluia. “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 16-20 (ESV) Now after the Sabbath. and behold. the first fruits of the holy harvest field. Glorious life. toward the dawn of the first day of the week. Rain and dew and gleams of glory from the brightness of Thy face. and be ever.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy. now is risen from the dead. Then Jesus said to them. and we conquer by His mighty enterprise: We with Him to life eternal by His resurrection rise. And behold. Alleluia! to the Spirit. And Jesus came and said to them. His appearance was like lightning. And behold. Ripened by His glorious sunshine from the furrows of the grave. fount of love and sanctity: Alleluia. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. And behold. with our hearts in Heaven. there you will see him. we are risen! Shed upon us heavenly grace. and there they will see me. He is not here. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. Now the iron bars are broken. sing to God a hymn of praise. see the place where he lay. But the angel said to the women. baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Christ has triumphed. “Do not be afraid. and his clothing white as snow. And when they saw him they worshiped him. He. for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. who on the cross a Victim. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. to the end of the age. for the world’s salvation bled. Alleluia. Come. Christ is risen. I have told you. See. alleluia! to the Triune Majesty. with Thee. “Do not be afraid. there was a great earthquake.