I am Taylor, the Director of Middle School Ministry in Lexington. I feel as though all I do is introduce myself in videos. I think this will be my 5th video I’ve done over the past few weeks so I’m getting the hang of it but I’m just glad to have the opportunity to journey through this Holy Week.
Quarantine so far hasn’t been too bad; it’s been pretty good. My brother and I came to my parents’ house on March 20th to celebrate his birthday and then we just never left. My brother is working from his room, I’m working from mine, my dad works from his office and my mom works in healthcare, so she is the only who leaves the house on a daily basis.
Since my brother is older than me, this is the first time we’ve all lived together since I was in 8th grade. So it’s been a while. We have our moments of tension but for the most part it’s been fun and a good time to spend with each other. As a way to pass the time, my brother and I have taken the opportunity to recreate some of our childhood photos. I’ll show you one that we are especially proud of. This is definitely our best one. The facial expression I’m making is the face of beauty. It took me a long time to get it right, but I think I finally got it. That’s what we’ve been up to.
It feels as though this time we are in is just interesting. It’s been a long time at home, and it feels like it’s going to continue for a little bit longer. I don’t know about you but without markers, like to mark the day of my routine, it feels like time has stopped and the days are just blurring together. I am really grateful for moments like Palm Sunday and Easter that actually mark a moment, they mark a day, something special that causes us to pause, to recognize the importance and significance of that day and get out of the blur. I am really looking for to Easter because it gives us an opportunity to pause and actually celebrate something and celebrate something really good.
As we make our way towards the events of Good Friday and Easter I’d love to dive into Scripture with you.
Today we are going to look at Luke 22:1-2.
Just a little context before we dive in. These verses come right before the celebration of Passover. The Passover is a central Jewish festival that celebrates the nearness and mercy of God. At this point, Jesus is in Jerusalem and as Bryan talked about yesterday, Jesus has spent the last couple chapters confronting people’s typical way of thinking while also being confronted by the Jewish religious leaders of the day. Tension has been building. And then we read this
Luke 22:1-2 New International Version (NIV)
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people.
I don’t know about you but when I read Scripture in my own personal time. I love to look at the different wording of different translations. So, I’d love to read through 2 more versions with you.
Luke 22:1-2 New Living Translation (NLT)
The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction.
Luke 22:1-2 The Message (MSG)
The Feast of Unleavened Bread, also called Passover, drew near. The high priests and religion scholars were looking for a way to do away with Jesus but, fearful of the people, they were also looking for a way to cover their tracks.
We have the religious leaders who are done with Jesus. They want him gone.
They feel threatened by Jesus and how he is embodying the fact that God is near, and that God is for everyone. The religious leaders have been spent years building a religious system centered upon the religious law that is controlled by the elite, which ends up excluding many ordinary Jews. But, Jesus, is living out the spirit of the Law by offering forgiveness, healing and worth to everyone.
The religious leaders are afraid that they have lost control over the structures they’ve built and the story of God they’ve been trying to tell. They are stuck in a cycle of fear and loss of control.
In 2020, we have also lost control. We have lost control of our routine, our normal social interactions and maybe control over our typical emotional responses.
Take a moment:
What do you feel you have lost control of?
What are your main fears right now?
In the midst of our fear and anxiety, Jesus’ life confronts us with a different reality and promise – that God is near and with us, even when our normal ways of connecting with God and way of life is disrupted.
As we reflect on this passage and how the loss of control can lead to fear, I would love to pray with you and lead you in an imaginative prayer.
I want to invite to close eyes, get comfortable and pray with me.
Imagine yourself sitting in one of your favorite places with Jesus. Somewhere familiar, somewhere comfortable and somewhere safe.
Take a moment to recognize that God is near you. What is it like to be sitting with Jesus? How does it make you feel?
The great thing about Jesus, is that he doesn’t belittle our feelings. He accepts our entire being, feelings and all.
Turn to Jesus and let the things you feel like you like you’ve lost control of come to the surface.
As your feelings come to the surface, how does Jesus respond to them?
Take a moment to spend with Jesus. (Feel free to hit the pause button if you’d like.)
As you take three deep breaths to close this time, know that God is always near and always present to our entire being, feelings and all.