About the Book

The Uncluttered Heart is your companion through the busy weeks of Advent and Christmas. Published by Upper Room Books. Learn more.

About the Author
Beth A. Richardson

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Pentecost - Happy Birthday to the Church

If you cannot see a video, please come to the website.  

What Is Pentecost? Pentecost is a Greek word meaning "the fiftieth day." The feast of Pentecost was celebrated 50 days after the Jewish Passover. (When counting, omit the Sabbaths.) The Jewish feast of Pentecost was the festival giving thanks for the first fruits of the corn harvest. Acts 2:1 notes that on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus' disciples. This event was called Pentecost by the early Christian Church. And it is observed today as the birth of the Church. Read the whole story: Acts 2:1-21.


Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!

Jesus said to [Mary], "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to him in Hebrew, "Rabbouni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'"
- John 20:15-17 (NRSV)


Audio Lectio for Easter Sunday: Pray John 20:11-18.

Scripture Readings for Easter Sunday (April 5)

Photo Credit: © Beth A. Richardson. Dogwood bloom outside The Upper Room.


Holy Saturday

We wait in sorrow and in hope.

They took the body of Jesus and wrapped it with the spices in linen cloths, according to the burial custom of the Jews. ... And so, because it was the Jewish day of Preparation, and the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
- John 19:40, 42 (NRSV)


Scripture Readings for Holy Saturday (April 4)

Photo Credit: Photo © Beth A. Richardson. The Pietà by Michelangelo housed in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.


Good Friday

Healed by his bruises.

Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.
- Isaiah 53:4-5 (NRSV)


Audio Lectio for Good Friday: Pray the scriptures with us. The reading for today is John 19:16-30.

Scripture Readings for Good Friday (April 3)

Photo Credit: © Beth A. Richardson. On the wall near the cemetery in Vernazza, Italy.


Maundy Thursday

Eat and drink ... and remember.

When Jesus had given thanks, he broke [the bread] and said, "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me." For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
- 1 Corinthians 11:24-26 (NRSV)


Scripture Readings for Maundy Thursday (April 2)

Photo Credit: © Beth A. Richardson. SOULfeast communion setting.