Holy Week: A Four-Day Scripture Reading Plan Enrich your season with daily reflections. March 15th, 2016 Christina Miller
Holy Week: A Four-Day Scripture Reading Plan
Holy Week: A Four-Day Scripture Reading Plan Enrich your season with daily reflections. March 15th, 2016 Christina Miller
Bible Engager’s Blog

After a long winter, I am looking forward to the arrival of spring. An East Coaster, I have walked through the cold, the snow, the shortening of days—and now light is starting to seep back in. The days are elongating. I can't help but feel a stirring of hope for the new growth emerging ahead.

For those of us who observed Lent, it has felt similar to the transition between seasons. We began our Lenten journey with Ash Wednesday and the solemn words, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return." Then we entered into 40 days in the proverbial wilderness—mirroring Jesus' 40 days of being tempted in the desert before beginning his public ministry (Matthew 4:1–11). During this time we practiced penitence, prayer and fasting. Some of us chose to give up a certain food, or stop drinking wine in the evening, or abstain from sweets and nibbles of chocolate. These practices helped us see how we rely on ourselves, and redirected us to God as our true source of life. 

It is difficult to walk through a wilderness season unchanged. We emerge from these journeys with newfound awareness—perhaps gratitude for simple things we didn't notice before. With less clutter in our lives we can see more clearly. We might even hear the words of Scripture more sweetly: "The winter is over; the rains have stopped; in the countryside the flowers are in bloom" (Song of Songs 2:11–12a GNT). 

Now we are invited to walk with Jesus on the last days of his earthly life and ministry. We are emboldened to take this final stretch—marked by betrayal, suffering and death—because we can see our final destination. We know that Christ's suffering is the pathway to healing. We enter into Holy Week, equipped with our wilderness lessons, carrying the hope of resurrection. Our gaze is fixed on the new life up ahead.

Here are selected Scripture readings for the first half of Holy Week. Reflect on them each day to conclude your journey through Lent or learn about this Church season for the first time!     

Palm Sunday

Luke 19:28–40

Jesus makes a triumphant entry into Jerusalem—only rather than riding a warhorse like a conquering leader, he rides a donkey, symbolizing peace. People lay coats and palm branches on his path, crying out "God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory to God!" (Luke 19:38 GNT). We begin our week celebrating what will soon be fulfilled. Though there are difficult events ahead, Jesus is coming to inaugurate peace! 

Holy Monday

John 12:1–11

Jesus joins his friends before Passover—Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Mary kneels at Jesus' feet, washes them with costly perfume and wipes them with her hair. Her act of devotion reflects the customs for preparing a body for burial—pointing towards Jesus' upcoming death. We also draw near to Jesus with tender devotion. We ask for continued awareness of Jesus' presence in our midst this week. 

Holy Tuesday

John 13:36–38

In John 13, Jesus gathers the twelve disciples for a meal. His words foretell his death, causing Peter to ask, "Where are you going, Lord?" While Peter claims to be ready to die for Jesus, we find out that soon he will deny even knowing the Lord. Are we ready to walk with Jesus even to the cross? 

Holy Wednesday

Matthew 26:20–25

During Jesus' last meal with his disciples, he warns that one of them will betray him to death. The disciples are upset and ask, "Surely, Lord, you don't mean me?" We are also invited to examine our hearts. We ask God to show us where we are prone to turn away, and for help to align our hearts more deeply with Jesus. 

Read more posts about: Easter

Christina Miller
Christina Miller

Christina Miller has a BA in English Literature from Pepperdine University and Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. As an active member of the Episcopal Church, Christina has served as a youth director, Christian formation director, healing prayer minister and adult education teacher. She loves to travel and has spent extended periods of time in Germany, Tanzania and Israel.

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