Holy Week Monologues
This is a series of monologues that take us through the final week of Jesus life. The stories are told in the voices of women who were there. As we move from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday these stories invite us to hear anew the ancient words and see through a new lens.
Jesus Prays for Unity is the fourth in the seven part series.
A monologue will be published on my blog each day throughout Holy Week with the monologue corresponding to that particular day.
Click here to download the full series. I am pleased to offer it as a free resource.
Jesus Prays for Unity
My name is Mary. You will know me best as the sister of Martha and Lazarus. I spent much time in the company of Jesus both inside and outside our home. What I loved most about him was the way me made me feel as an important part of his ministry. He included all of us in his teachings and he encouraged me to grow and seek understanding. He broke down the barriers of race, religion, gender, economic status and helped us to see that each person is a beloved child of God. How many times he angered those in power with his teachings! Even some closest to him wondered about his actions on occasion.
I remember the day he stood up for the woman who was about to be stoned and challenged those without sin to cast the first stone; and the day he spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, breaking barriers of both religion and gender. Then there was the time that a woman confronted him asking for care and in their back and forth she was able to help him see differently and he did. I think about the story he told of the Good Samaritan holding an outsider up as an example for how we should behave. Even the simple things like talking to the diseased and the outcast; blessing the children; picking grain on the Sabbath so that we could be fed…. All of these things helped us to see a world of equality and justice marked with care and compassion – a place where we lived in right relationship with all.
The final week of his life – and I don’t know if he knew exactly what was going to happen but he did know that he needed to make a statement and that it would bring consequences – he tried to really imprint his dream upon our hearts and minds, in a way he had not done before and with a certain sense of urgency. He wanted us to know the possibilities and be empowered to stand up for what was right and just and true.
One of the things that he did regularly and encouraged us to do was pray. To take that time to tap into the spirit and renew our souls. To pray with each other, for each other and for the world in which we lived. During that final week – after the parade into the city, after his scene in the temple, after his anointing but before the full reality of the situation rested upon us, again he prayed.
In that moment, connected to a power that is difficult to explain his words touched the core of my being. He prayed for understanding, knowledge, peace and courage. He prayed that we might walk faithfully and be united in purpose and in truth. As he prayed, I felt those words resting on me and indeed on all of us - not just as a prayer but as a commissioning. We had been chosen, consecrated and now we were being sent out in his name.
The prayer that night was not just for us – in his words
“It was for all who would come to believe.”
That means you! You are here because we told the story, we were faithful witnesses. Jesus’ prayer is that you too will walk in his way and be united as one.
© Rev. Valerie Peyton Kingsbury.