Thursday's Meditation

Day 1 - Thursday


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Marketplace

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Bakery


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View from the Window of the Vintner's House


Matthew 16:21

 As you enter the marketplace allow your senses to take over.  See the tents of the merchants selling their wares.  See the children playing games.  See the soldiers keeping order.  Smell the bakery with its fresh bread, smell the spices from far off lands, smell the animals in their pens.  Taste the fruit of the vine at the vintner's house.  Enjoy a sweet cookie at the bakery or a piece of cheese at the spice shop. Feel the air change as you enter through the city gate, touch the soft fur of the lambs, the cool hardness of the beads at the jeweler. Feel the air and sense that something is about to happen. Listen to the sounds, sounds of the donkey calling, the music playing and hear the children as they shout with glee, “Jesus is coming, Jesus is coming!”

 

John 12:13, John 8:1-11

And there He is, entering the marketplace just as you did.  He walks with His disciples greeting those that He meets, Shalom, He says to the merchant, He ruffles the hair of a small child.  Some greet Him back, others are unsure; Is this really the Messiah?  His disciples recall stories of the past few months, how the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years was healed by just touching His cloak, how …..

Then there is a commotion.  The  Pharisees bring a woman and throw her at the feet of Jesus.  They have rocks as do the men with them.  What has happened?  “This woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?”  You wait, what will Jesus do?  The men look angry and the woman so scared.  Jesus bends down without a word and draws in the dirt, all the while the men shouting for an answer.

Slowly, He rises, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”   You hear the thud as the stones hit the ground and angry footsteps as they walk away.  Then softly, He says to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She looks around, “No one, sir.”  He helps her up and tells her, “Neither do I condemn you, Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”   As she walks away, she looks back, trying to understand what has just happened.  You hear talking, many do not understand but they know that this Jesus is special.  He stands on a bench to preach, “you shall have only one master and He is in heaven…..

 

Mark 11:15-19

You hear your tribe called, and for this moment you are part of one of the twelve tribes, the sons and daughters of Israel.  You enter the guide tent and are given your instructions.  As you leave you pass the temple scene, the tables overturned, broken pots, cages and containers on their sides.  Jesus did this, angered over the den of thieves His Father's house had become.   God’s people have strayed again.  With that last thought you leave the marketplace.

 

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Temple Overturned

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Upper Room


 

Matthew 26:14-16, John 13:1-20, Matthew 26:20-28

The passage is quiet and dark, the sounds and light from the Marketplace fading.  As you are led into a room you pass two men.  Who are they?  One is receiving silver from the other, you hear the coins clink together, 1, 2, 3….15, 16, 17....28, 29, 30.  You move into a large room with many men around a table, they are ready to celebrate the Passover.  Just then Jesus and the disciples who were with Him in the marketplace enter.  They greet each other and continue to talk.  Lastly, the man from the hall enters, it is Judas.  Why was the priest giving him the silver?

They all settle and Jesus begins to wash their feet.  They are confused, they had a bath, they are clean.  Jesus asks if they understand what He has done, He has washed their feet, they are to wash the feet of others.  They do not understand.  Jesus then informs them that one among them will betray Him.  “Not I, Lord,” they say. As Jesus hands the bread to Judas they know he is the one, Judas will betray Jesus.   Jesus speaks again as he begins the Passover meal, He breaks the bread  “ Take and eat, this is my body”, He lifts the cup, “Drink from it, all of you, This is the blood of the covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins.”

Jesus then says He will be leaving, they are confused and want to follow but we cannot follow where He will go.  He tells them to love one another, yet warns them that one will deny Him three times.  Peter protests,  “Not I, Lord!”  Judas will betray Jesus, Peter will deny Him.  This is not how this is supposed to happen.  The disciples are confused, you may be as well.  Where is Jesus going that we cannot follow?  Am I as guilty of betraying Jesus as Judas?  Do I deny my Lord like Peter?  Have I listened to His teachings and not understood?  We end this part of the journey with questions.  The story is not new but as we become a part of it we see it differently.  As we move to the garden, we are unsure of our journey and we are unsure of our roles in it.

(to be continued on Friday)