Daily Update from Pastor David March 23, 2020
Monday, March 23
Update & Prayer Notes
John 11:1 – 12:11
I’m a map guy. In my youth backpacking in the wilderness with a topographical map and compass was a summer ritual. When I graduated to a cars and road trips, CAA triptiks made the trip. One anticipated in advance everything that was to come, and flipped each page with a sense of satisfaction that just can’t be replicated by following a GPS. If you’re too young to know what a triptik was, I grieve your loss.
Today I want to suggest a mapping out of our trip from today through Easter Sunday, April 12. Almost 50% of the four gospels deal with just the last week of Jesus’ life: from the triumphal entry on Palm Sunday through the resurrection on Easter Sunday. We’re going to live that one week over the three weeks before us until Easter. A chart (your map), showing the Scripture reading over those weeks follows today’s notes.
On Sunday as we gathered for worship together, British Columbia led all provinces in the number of reported cases. Today we woke to the reality that we have been surpassed by both Ontario and Quebec. Restrictions escalate. The global death toll surpassed 15,000. In our humanity, we fear death.
That brings us to the last week of Jesus’ life, because every step moved him closer to the cross and death. Only John’s Gospel records what happened on the sixth day prior to “Good Friday”.
1Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany where Lazarus was, the one Jesus had raised from the dead. 2So they gave a dinner for him there; Martha was serving them, and Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took a pound of perfume, pure and expensive nard, anointed Jesus’s feet, and wiped his feet with her hair. So the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. —John 12:1-3
All the usual suspects are present: Jesus is at the home of his good friends. Lazarus is the reason they assemble. Martha is busy in the kitchen. And Mary is at Jesus’ feet.
The meal celebrates that Lazarus who was dead is now alive. (For the backstory, read the previous chapter, John 11.) So the death and resurrection of Jesus is foreshadowed. When the party poopers attempt to rain on Mary’s parade, Jesus defends her: “Lay off! I won’t always be around, and she alone realizes I’m going to die.” That’s “The Booker Paraphrase” but Jesus is attempting to get everyone present to face the reality of his death.
Given our world situation, we can enter into the passion of Christ perhaps in a more discerning way than ever before. The hope in hearing of Jesus’ impending death was the reality of the resurrection. And our hope in facing COVID-19 is that, for the Christian, there is a life beyond death. A greater, more glorious day awaits us all.
Prayer Items: Tomorrow the staff will connect for a day of prayer. We do not know how much longer we will be able to meet in person, and we wish to spend this day in dedicated prayer before the opportunity passes. We are small in number, and will exercise caution in social-distancing. We would love for you to send specific prayer items that we can pray for in our time together. You are also encouraged to pray on your own during any portion of this time that you are able. We will be meeting from 10:30 am till 4:30 pm.
- Pastor David Booker
THE DEVOTIONAL "MAP" THROUG EASTER
(note: the "Days" are counting down to Good Friday)