Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Tuesday, April 12, Morning – Holy Week Day 2
By Rev. Palmer Cantler, Associate Pastor
Challenge for a Tuesday
Read: Luke 20:1-2 NRSV
“One day, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and telling the good news, the chief priests and the scribes came with the elders and said to him, ‘Tell us, by what authority are you doing these things? Who is it who gave you this authority?’”
During Lent 2021, a group of young adults in the church and I studied Amy-Jill Levine’s Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week. The book is an excellent exploration into Jesus’ last days before his crucifixion and resurrection. The book begins with Jesus’ triumphant entry to Jerusalem and closes with Jesus being arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane. Each chapter focuses on the risks Jesus embodies throughout the week, from reputation to rejection, to the loss of friends.
It’s easy, when reading this book, to understand each day as corresponding to a day of Holy Week. But what happens on Tuesday? Exciting, interesting things never seem to happen on a Tuesday. In the chapter that could be the Tuesday of Holy Week, Levine focuses not on a singular event, but on Jesus’ teachings in the Temple. He risked challenge regularly by the priests, scribes, and pharisees by sharing the good news in the Temple.
And I think that’s important to remember on the Tuesday of Holy Week. Even on the seemingly uneventful days, Jesus shares the good news with all who would hear. Jesus chooses not to argue the source of his authority, but instead tells parables that, when examined, reveal God as the source of his authority. As you continue your journey through Lent and Holy Week, how are the stories you tell revealing Jesus as the authority on your life? How might your uneventful Tuesday become a reminder of the power of our Savior?
Sovereign God, as we journey through Holy Week, help us to remain grounded in your teachings. Give us opportunities to take risks that allow us to mature in our discipleship and see where you are calling us to grow. In the name of our great teacher, Jesus, we pray. Amen.