Archive for category #ncaafootball; #football;
As [Jesus] was going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, “Why are you untying it?’ just say this, “The Lord needs it.’ “ So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.
As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.“ He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.” [NRSV]
The entrance into the holy city Jerusalem is akin to the presidential motorcade after the inauguration swearing in service. People lined the way, shoulder to shoulder, waving and cheering the confirmation of their new leader. But Jesus did not arrive in the usual way. Neither had he been endorsed by the Sadducees nor Pharisees. He entered riding on the back of a humble work animal instead of a proud steed of power and status. He was praised by the disciples, those who had been healed, fed, blessed and taught along the way of Jesus’s ministry. I make NO contemporary political correlation to candidates running today, only to the stress and strife of a non-establishment figure being ushered into the city by the voice of the people.
We may have more insight into the context of this event that other generations. The Pharisees saying, “If this Jesus becomes our leader, I’m leaving Jerusalem” The Sadducees saying, “If they don’t get a handle on this outsider, we will take steps to bring our own man in.” Do you get the scene and the tensions?
The establishment says, stop your people from this circus. Teacher, we hold you responsible for the chaos. It’s your fault. We will stop you if you don’t stop the unruly crowd. [Again, I am not suggestion that any of our political figures are messianic leaders, but I am listening to the similarities of the crowds and the commentators and voices of the establishments then and now.]
All this sets the stage for Palm Sunday. We would much rather look at the scenes of the children lining the streets waving along the Jesus parade as a sweet image of Palm Sunday and not see the emerging political unrest that blows up in less than a week. I believe it is vitally important to look at the politics that is very much part of the Palm Sunday story.
The sweetest fruit in this passage from Luke’s Gospel is about seeing and not seeing. It is about believing and refusing to believe. It is about choosing to accep or closing our eyes, “sticking our heads in the sand in times of fear”,
instead of proclaiming
- Jesus Christ is real,
- Jesus is King, and
- Jesus is with us.
The secondary witness is about praise that cannot be held back.
- When we know Jesus is real, this becomes the foundation of our life
- When we know Jesus is King, this becomease the guide for our living
- When we know Jesus is with us, nothing can stop us from praising.
So What is “Palm Sunday About?”
- There story is about preparing for worship
- The story is about making way/room for Jesus in our public/fears
- The story is about remaing awake and aleart that it is Jesus that leads us and not anything or anyone esle.
Where does Peace come from? The Prince of Peace:
- Peace does not come from armies and weapons
- Peace does not come from governments and policies
- Peace does not come from acts of kindness and justice
- Peace comes from God, through Jesus Christ, guided by the Spirit, through the church, through us for for the whole world.
Palm Sunday is about seeking peace from God with us.
If we cant’ see God with us, we will never find Peace.
Peace in Syria?, in Instanbull?, in the media? in the streets of our nation? in our homes? in our hearts?
- Peace comes when Jesus comes in.
- Peace comes when Jesus is praised
- Peaces is possible to see when we see God showing up on our streets.
We life our palm brances as signs of a
- new life,
- a new way
- a new day, made possible thorugh Jesus Chirst, our King.
The Practice response..
Start with what we have: cloaks and branches and pave the way.
Start with our
- Witness of kindness
- Forgiving first,
Loving even though others have not loved us first
- Our hearts
- Our gifts
- Our time
- Our presence
- Our wintess
Use these to pave the way for Christ to enter our
- nation and the world.
That means raise the praise in church but don’t stop there, don’t stop now,
LIft Christ… and let a hurting, hateful, fearful, broken world know Jesus is here.
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” [NRSV]
This season of football is a celebration of the quest for Greatness. Who has the greatest record, the greatest team, the greatest coach, the most touchdown, the more sacks, the most yards rushing, the greatest paid attendance, the most market share, the greatest performance of wins, Which is the greatest championship and bowl game. Who will be the greatest draft pick. Greatness is the prize in every area.
Every great football coach has a challenging speech to fire-up and focus the team to victory in greatness. James and John go to Jesus and ask for the best seats in the biggest arena of the greatest stadium for eternity. We want an all-access, back stage and front row seats. You can give us that greatness.
Jesus says, you need to start washing the porta-potties at the tailgate and become the most service oriented person you can be. The hard part for James and John, is they are starting to develop a rotating work schedule and Jesus clarifies his offer. If you want to have a great seat during the game, then you need to be a slave to those outside the stadium. (But if we are out of the stadium, how will we enjoy our good seats.)
Front Row Service is not at the House of Worship.
The greatest servant of Jesus Christ is the one who is busy with God’s work and witness as a way of life. NCAA Slavery: Fans who shape their entire season around the games, parties and statistical tracking.
Front Row Service is being a slave to those outside the stadium
If you want to see the heart of God present in the world, its not in the stadium seating on the front row, its is on the streets, in the hearts, in the heartbreak and fear of life.
The Seats of Greatness cannot be given, they come as a benefit of the service.
It’s the work that is the joy and not the benefits. You’ve heard folks say, “I’m working for the benefits.” That is not slavery.
The definition of Slavery:
Working for someone else that is against their will and at the cost of their freedom.
The difference in Jesus’ “slavery” is when we yield our will, entrusting God’s will. It is giving up our freedom of self determination to be a servant of God’s.
Sounds like a job we will skip. The disciples started fussing and scolding James and John. Not a helpful response either.
Jesus is actually making discipleship much less grey, increasing the contrast, greatness is serving the lowliest.
Jesus won’t make us great. We can join his Greatness by serving.
Service is one of the very things we promise in serving at the church
Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Witness and Service
Serving is caring for the hungry, thirsty, naked, captive, the lost and forgotten.