From the LCMS website:
Joseph was the son of the patriarch Jacob (February 5) and Rachel. The favorite son of his father, he incurred the jealousy of his older brothers, who sold him into slavery in Egypt and told their father he was dead (Genesis 37). In Egypt he became the chief servant in the home of Potiphar, a military official. Because Joseph refused to commit adultery with his master’s wife, he was unjustly accused of attempted rape and thrown into jail (Genesis 39). Years later, he interpreted dreams for Pharoah, who then freed him from prison and placed him in charge of the entire country. When his brothers came from Canaan to Egypt in search of food, they did not recognize him. He eventually revealed his identity to them, forgave them, and invited both them and his father to live in Egypt. He is especially remembered and honored for his moral uprightness (Genesis 39) and for his willingness to forgive his brothers (Genesis 45 and 50).
Today’s reading was about Judas taking thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11, and Luke 22:1-6. You really have to look hard to the symbol to get what it is…looking inside a money bag at the silver coins, (and there really are 30 tiny felt circles!). Personally, I think there must have been a better way to design this one, but I didn’t have the energy to create something better myself.
It’s interesting to note that this story doesn’t include the actual betrayal of Jesus in the garden, or the events beforehand at the Last Supper…it’s only about Judas cutting a deal with the Chief Priests, and coming up with a plan to hand Jesus over to them. It’s also interesting that Matthew is the only Gospel that really focuses on Judas doing so in order to get something in return…the other two Gospels focus more on the fact that because he came up with a plan, the Chief Priests were so happy that they wanted to give him something. It does make you wonder…did he do it for the money, or was the money just a nice bonus? Then again, we know from John 12:4-8 that Judas was a thief, and obsessed with money, (not to mention the “treasurer” for the disciples), so it’s certainly not hard to believe that money was the motivating factor in his betrayal!
We got an early start on Holy Week today, with readings about Jesus’s Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Since there are so many events to cover in the span of Holy Week, (at least three for Maundy Thursday alone!), it makes sense that we would have to start reading about them before the Holy Week actually starts, to fit everything in. The children were a little disappointed that the palm branch symbol was placed today instead of Sunday!
The readings came from three Gospels: Matthew 21:1-16; Mark 11:1-11; and Luke 19:29-44. The Matthew reading also included the second account of Jesus clearing the Temple, and the Luke reading also told of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Only the Mark reading focused only on Jesus entering Jerusalem.
Today’s reading was from Matthew 20:20-28 and Mark 10:35-45–the mother of James and John asking that they be seated at the right and left hand of Jesus in His kingdom. Actually, the request was only made by their mother in the Matthew passage–in the Mark passage, the brothers asked Jesus themselves. Either way, the answer Jesus gave them was the same–while they may be required to suffer in a similar fashion to Him, it isn’t up to Him who receives those positions. I’ve always found it interesting that this story wasn’t recorded by John himself in his Gospel!
The symbol for today, in case it isn’t clear, is a throne, like James and John might have envisioned sitting on either side of. This one was a little hard to put together, because it’s so dimensional, but it does look pretty cool!
Today’s reading was about the rich young man who asked Jesus what he needed to do to go to heaven. This passage is found in three Gospels: Matthew 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-27; and Luke 18:18-27. I think that this story is particularly interesting because the rich young man claims to have kept all of the commandments, and yet is unable to walk away from his possessions. I wonder if the man was answering in the “letter of the law” way, saying he hadn’t actually murdered, so he kept that commandment, for example, or if he really believed himself to be capable of keeping the commandments on his own. If the latter is true, he had more problems than not being able to leave his things behind!
The symbol, for those who might be wondering, is the “gate to heaven.” I don’t think this one is really obvious on its own…it looks very regal, but I’m not sure my first guess would have been heaven!
Today’s reading was the story of the sinful woman anointing Jesus’s feet, as found in Luke 7:36-50. The real story here, however, isn’t the woman’s actions, (that’s just the first half of the story)–it’s the parable about the moneylender and the debtors Jesus told in response to the Pharisee’s questions, and the fact that He forgave the woman’s sins.