Rev. Paul S. Stavrakos, Moderator of the Committee on Personnel, Worship at Gladwyne and First Presbyterian Churches
First Reading: Isaiah 42:1-9
Psalms: Psalm 36:5-11
Second Reading: Hebrews 9:11-15
Gospel Reading: John 12:1-11
Uncertainty and Discovery
Monday of Holy Week
At the beginning of Holy Week, we read the words of the author of Hebrews to disheartened members of the Christian community who had begun to lose their grip on their own beliefs and commitments. In the past, priests had offered all the sacrifices and the people had followed the purification rituals, but they came away empty handed in that salvation eluded them.
The writer contrasts the actions of the previous priests with that of Christ. He tells them Jesus offered not an animal but himself, a perfect sacrifice. The old sacrifice accomplished outer purity; the sacrifice of Jesus purifies the inner person. Instead of human beings grasping for the hand of God, God reaches back and grabs them, restoring human life to what God intended it to be and so reconciling them to God. In Jesus’ sacrifice, once for all, on the cross, the relationship with God they had been hoping to achieve by practicing religion, had now been given to them as a gift.
We receive that same gift at Easter, a gift which sustains us every day of our lives.
Prayer: Take all our doubts and uncertainties, O God, and fill us with such faith that we may be confident of your love and loyal in the service of him who died and yet lives for us, Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen