‘An encouraging word’, Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

‘An encouraging word’, Wednesday, April 8th, 2020

Something to encourage and think upon’, Wednesday, Holy Week, April 8th, 2020

This is the third in our series of thoughts by some members of All Saints Amersfoort

‘The Man Bearing a Pitcher’ – James Tissot – Brooklyn Museum. Public domain.

Luke 22.1-13 and Hebrews 12.1-3

The days of Holy Week in the lead up to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday is all about preparing ourselves for these most holy and significant of days. In our reading for today I want to reflect on a passage from the beginning of Luke 22. In this passage we get a snapshot of two events – two different types of preparation.

In the first passage (Luke 22.1-6) we read of the preparation of the forces who oppose Jesus. They had long been preparing for such a time as this and in Judas they found their path to act. In the second preparation (Luke 22.7-13) we see Jesus giving instructions to Peter and John to go and prepare for the Passover meal. He gives them directions on preparing for this special meal.

Placing these two preparations one after the other is no accident. On the one hand we read of the significant opposition to Jesus and God’s plan through Jesus to advance God’s mission and kingdom. On the other, we see Jesus is preparing for the culmination of this part of his mission – the last supper, his coming betrayal, death and ultimately his resurrection. We know that while the forces opposed to Jesus appear, at first, to have the victory, they do not have the last word. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection God has the ultimate victory.

At times in this life it does feel like the forces which are against God’s plans, against Jesus and against us have the upper hand. We should hold on to the truth that God is at work through Jesus and the Spirit preparing for the ultimate victory to be won. In addition, God is preparing us for what is to come so that we can participate with God in his plans and purposes.

Hebrews 12.1-3 reminds us that we have around us a great crowd of witnesses setting us an example – they have been through the testing, the trials and tribulations and come through them – how? By keeping their eyes on Jesus who sustained their faith. Just as Jesus stayed focused on the Father, just as the faithful in the past focused on Jesus, may we be encouraged by their example to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the one who will win the ultimate victory.

So, as we move towards Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday let’s prepare ourselves. Let us become sensitive to how God is at work preparing us for Easter, and also preparing us individually and as a church for what is next. The call for us as followers of Jesus is to keep our eyes fixed on the one who can who is with us, who sustains us and is already at work to further God’s plans to reconcile all things to himself. Through these times God is preparing us, shaping us, moulding us to become more like Jesus. May we be like the disciples and respond positively to how Jesus is instructing and preparing us.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your faithfulness to us. Jesus, we thank you that even in times when things seem against us you are with us and at work preparing us for what is to come. Holy Spirit prepare our hearts for Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday. In these difficult times help us Father to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and that we would be aware of your presence each day.

John Harris

Celtic Worship – ”In Christ Alone”

Casting Crowns – “Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)”