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You Are My Witnesses: A Spiritual Journey for the Sixth Sunday of Lent

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Editor’s Note: Missio Alliance is partnering with eleven:28 Ministries to provide Lenten meditations entitled “You Are My Witnesses: A Spiritual Journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter,” by Amy Bost Henegar. These reflections began on Ash Wednesday, and are available on Sundays starting the second Sunday in Lent, culminating on Easter. We invite you to set aside 10 minutes or so to move through the meditation below. You can listen to the podcast versions here and/or read along with the edited transcription below. We are grateful to eleven:28 for sharing this resource with the Missio Alliance community and pray that it helps you in your Lenten journey this year.


Remind yourself you are in God’s presence.

Notice how God may be speaking to you today.

Let yourself dwell on a word or phrase that catches your attention or moves your heart.

Let your heart respond to God in prayer.

***

Please repeat these words:

Open my heart to you Lord

And my mouth will declare your praise.

***

Take a minute to notice your breath.

Notice how God is breathing life into you at this very moment.

You are right now, in this moment, receiving the gift of breath.

As you inhale, feel the energy of God lift you up, and as you exhale return to gravity, in grounded vocation of service in this world.

Just rest in this space for a moment. Observing your breath, offering your thoughts and feelings to God without trying to control or change anything.

A Reading from John 12

The next day the great crowd that had come for the Passover Feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they got palm branches and went out to meet him, they shouted joyfully, “Hosanna, blessed is the One who comes in name of our God—the ruler of Israel.

Jesus rode in sitting upon a donkey, in accord with the scripture. “Fear not, O people of Zion! Your ruler comes to you sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

At the time, the disciples didn’t understand all this, but after Jesus was glorified they recalled that the people had done to him precisely what had been written about him.

Those who had been present when Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb and raised Him from the dead continued to spread the word. A crowd gathered, and they went out to meet Jesus because they had heard he had performed this miraculous sign.

Then the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look—the whole world is running after him.”

Reflection

There are days when everything seems good. The future looks promising, and excitement is in the air. We feel as though nothing can touch us. Nothing can take this away from us. We hear about that day in the life of Jesus. The people surrounded him singing praises, and everyone was following and cheering and rejoicing. But Jesus knew the road that was before him. He may have not known the details, but he knew the hearts of human beings better than we know ourselves. He knew that this was the top of the hill on the roller coaster, and the valley was coming next. What must he have felt? Swept up in the joy, swept up in the excitement of the moment, so grateful for the people who were shouting their praises. Yet at the same time, deeply distressed—knowing how their hopes were going to be crushed. Knowing how his own hopes were going to be crushed. Yet, with faith deeper than any we can possibly imagine, Jesus held on to the promises of God. Jesus knew that at the end of this roller coaster ride the love of God would triumph for him and for the people.

“Between Parades” by Anne Weems

We are good at planning.

Give us a task force and a project and we’re often running.

No trouble at all.

Going to the village and finding the colt, even negotiating with the owners is right down our alley.

And how we love a parade.

In a frenzy of celebration we gladly focus on Jesus and generously throw our coats and palms in his path.

And we can shout praise loudly enough to make the Pharisees complain.

It’s all so good.

It’s in between parades, that we don’t do so well.

From Sunday to Sunday we forget our Hosannas.

Between parades, the stones will have to shout

because we don’t.

***

We pray today in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray:

Our Father which art in Heaven,

Eternal God, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,

Source of all that is and that shall be,

Not only Father but Mother of us all,

May the hallowing of your name echo through the universe!

May the way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!

May your heavenly will be done by all created beings!

May your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.

In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.

In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.

From trials too great to endure, spare us.

From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever.

Amen.1

Benediction

Jesus, thank you for traveling that windy road to Jerusalem.

Thank you for receiving our hosannas on one day

and our cries of grief and terror the next.

We believe you are with us in all of our moments.

And we praise you, because if we don’t praise you the stones will cry out.

Amen.

Until we meet again, go in peace.


[1] The Lord’s Prayer, adapted from the New Zealand Anglican Book of Common Prayer

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