Sharing Our Faith Together

Reflections Through The Passion - Day 5

by Peter Blount and Andy Cokayne 30 March 2021

Day of Controversy and Parables

Reading :-  Matthew 21 : 33  To 23 : 39

After Jesus' difficult day yesterday, clearing the temple courts and having His authority questioned, today He takes a short journey, just outside the city walls to the Mount of Olives. Of course, He is followed by the crowd and so He begins to teach in parables. Today’s reading covers two and half chapters in Matthew's gospel and includes some of those parables, ‘The Parable of the Talents’ ‘The Wedding Banquet’ ‘The Seven Woes’.

It also includes the question, ‘which is the greatest commandment’? 

Jesus replies ‘ Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. The second is like it, love your neighbour as yourself.’ 

Please take some time to read and ponder on these chapters.

Much of the Easter story is about journeying – to Jerusalem – to Bethany – this short journey to the Mount of Olives. As well as presenting an opportunity for us to reflect on our personal journey both physically and spiritually.  

Kev Pellatt has sent us his thoughts on a Good Friday walk, not necessarily of witness but of reflection.

A walk of reflection 
Good Friday in the steep green and rugged isolated upland farming area of Swaledale pilgrims gather where the Pennine Way and Coast to Coast walks join at Keld. They will join in a pilgrimage of over 13 miles down dale to Grinton. There are two steep climbs on the way, which reaches 489m (1604ft) at the highest point and descends to 178m (584 ft) by the end.  

It is an ecumenical affair; all are welcome to join and many with no faith do. The URC chapel at Keld hosts the start; the Methodist chapel at Gunnerside serves refreshments at lunch and the Parish church at Grinton serving up hot cross buns before the closing service. 

The walk is more a time of prayer, reflection, and fellowship than a walk of witness observed in more populated areas. Carrying the cross is central to the pilgrimage; volunteers carry the cross until others offer to take that burden from them. People volunteer as we walk to lead at each of 14 stations en-route where there is a Bible reading, a short prayer and a response; ‘Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.’   

Walking may cause more suffering for some than others, talking along the way helps share that pain, sharing the ‘burden’ of the readings and carrying the cross are all reminders that Christ suffered on the cross for all of us; and we are all in need of his mercy and we too have a cross to bear and a part to play in the fellowship of the Church. 

Like the Pennine Way and the Coast to Coast walks crossing we as believers come together to acknowledge the suffering of Christ and as we walk through glorious scenery we look forward as well to the celebration of the resurrection to come on Easter Sunday. 

We are all different people who have travelled by different routes, yet, we are all united in the Spirit of God’s love through the suffering of Christ.

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Prayers Through The Passion.
Heavenly Father as we consider the challenges that Jesus presents with His teaching; with His miracles; with His life. Help us not to court controversy, for its own sake, nor to be afraid of it. But enable us, through the Holy Spirit, to take on board the lessons you have for us, to be challenged and moulded by them, and to live the life that Jesus calls us to. 

In His name and to His glory we pray. Amen.