Posts Tagged Lent
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8 You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” [NRSV]
I recall visiting sanctuaries through out Europe, some hundreds of years and wonder on one hand did Jesus imagine the ornate gilded cathedrals would become witnesses of his body and presence in the world. On the other hand, having walk through those ornate and gilded cathedrals and having join in the presence of worship that was older than my prayers and praises the allow us to experience the glories of a presence that is beyond our imagination and beyond our wealth and beyond our interpretation.
Somewhere in the combination of faithful stewardship and extravagant generosity we find the sincerity and and passion of worship.
There are times for simple and there are time for excess
The Garden of Eden reflects a sips relationship, one love and one rule, one trust and the consequences one transgression/choice.
Think of worship in the home of Mary and Martha. Recall Martha is the practical, hard working, thrifty with time and extravagant with comfort and dependable order. Mary is willing to throw caution aside! She is willing to leaving the house messy for a time, eat brunch for dinner, and invite too many guests to the party.
Mary take an extraordinary gift worth a years wage and gives the entire jar to cover Jesus. One pure of nard retailed for $700. Not a dab with the lid behind the ear r on ones wrist. She covers Jesus’s feet. Nard is viscous, acidic and concentrated scent similar to gardenia. It would have filled the house
Today we come to a historical day in the life of the church that is a mar rage of extravagant generosity AND a practical challenge. The big news is about t be revealed and it is a unique and exciting opportunity that draws on both our Mary and Martha sides.
The waste is not in using our gifts, the waste would be not to give.
Life in the Joy of Chrost with us.
At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, “Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work. Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.’ ” [NRSV]
Jesus Agenda: Casting out evil, Curing the broken, and finishing his work on the third day.
- A fore telling of Jesus’ arrest, conviction and crucifixion are addressed by the disciples and Jesus.Jesus is talking back. Calling Herod by his action, a fox, cunning, callus and calculated. Skills of self preservation for the fox. Jesus’ mission, in Luke’s Gospel, requires him to be back in Jerusalem, positioned for the crucifixion.The Agenda cannot be stopped by Herod or any evil. But that will not stop evil things from happening.KEY:
God’s presence cannot be taking away, but neither are we to expect evil to disappear in the world.Prophet’s Job is Seldom Appreciated.
- Jesus points to the difficult task of being a prophet.The Prophet says nothing new. The prophet reminds us of the rails that our collective train should be running.The Prophet reminds us that God desires up to be with God.Jesus is more than any prophet. Jesus is God showing up first hand, the real deal, the actual.Jesus’s lament is how the necessary role of the prophet has never been without attack and often takes one’s life.We have at least two prophetic voices for our capital city:
I would suggest that our two leading political candidates (S&T) have tapped into the telling the people what the want to be reminded of, but their trains are running in opposing directions. Neither of them claim to be God’s prophets, but folks are desperate for a prophet and will follow until the find the prophet’s flaws or the prophet’s message becomes too personal. Mud-Slinging Campaign: (Interesting to hear from Jesus and John the Baptizer) Herod, was the secular leaders and he was a ‘fox’. The Sanhedrin were the religious leaders and they were a brood of vipers. God desires us to be together.There is a VERY powerful moment of self-disclosure and God’s heart being revealed in these words of Jesus outside of Jerusalem:The Mother Hen and her brood: How I wish my chicks would trust me. (Not just after they are in trouble, not after they are lost to evil, not just when faced with their own mortality, BUT when there was time to “walk together in the garden”) Remember the relationship with Adam and Eve, where God would walk and talk with them face-to-face, and explore the garden along side with them (Gen 3.8)The Prophets role is to remind God’s people of the relationship of Good and Evil. Helping folks remember what side of the fence they are too live.
- Are we people who put God first?Are we a people who put God 2nd or third or last?Are we people who honor our parents and their generation?Are we a people who lie, cheat, steal and murder?Are we people who choose our own agenda or God’s?Are we people who hunger and thirst to be correct or forgivenAre we people who satisfied with God or we want more?Are we people who listen to snakes and foxes?Are we people who will call out what it is evil, broken and diseased?Are we people who will turn to God or Government to define us?
These are the prophet’s questions: What are our answers?The Declaration:Blessed are those who come in the name of the Lord.
You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else. But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ —by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life. [NRSV]
Before you found salvation
- You were walking dead
- Traveling on a dead end road
- You were like zombies, those who thought the only thing real in this world was themselves, their own efforts and failure, their own riches or poverty, their own reality and rules.
- DON’T Go Back To That Pace!
We once were children of wrath
- You love to push the limits of both God and yourself.
- How many people hate God because one or two people in the church act inappropriately
- How many people run from God because we never explained why God/Jesus/Spirit are vitially important to our own lives (We just hope they see the testimony we live and say nothing.)
- Say that one again: (We just hope folks see our intended testimony of our actions and we teach, explain, tell folks nothing to confirm they got the correct message.) SAVI
But we are no longer on the dead end road.
- We are on the alive for evermore road
- We are on the alive road with Jesus
- We are on the alive road together with one another, we are not alone
- We are on the alive road that is paved with grace, paved with the sacrifice of blame, sin, curse, and judgement that is due us, but has been taken on by Jesus instead.
- Don’t be rude, but don’t get lost in political correctness,
- Reach out to the lost and show them, tell them, plead with them the way of grace in Christ.
- So in at a future time, when we leave this earth and this physical body is no more
- So when Christ returns to claim us and clean things up for the fresh start.
- So at a time in the future of God’s own choosing we can look back and see that God is not nearly as concerned about where we have wandered, as much as God is ultimately concerned about our being with God for today and the time from NOW on.
- God is kind enough to judge us, give the sentence to himself, and restore our relationship.
- For we are what he has made us,
- We are created in Christ Jesus for good works,
- To become the people God has hoped and dreamed we would be
- for the way of life intended from the beginning.
- for the relationship that was at the start, God opens to us,
- because God operates from a bedrock, foundation of love and kindness.
COUNTER Point: There are those who will be so quick to respond.
- Why did my parent or child or sibling have to suffer and/or die.
- Why did God take them?
- From a loving point of view, which would you rather God be interested in your life:
- The absence of a family member for four to forty years or for them to be absent in eternity?
- GOD is not punishing up with death.
- If God is so good and kind, why doesn’t God stop evil in the world? hunger, disease, acts of terror, etc?
- The presence of evil in the world affirm that we still have choice to live for God.
- If evil were removed from the world without our our choice in the matter, then life and relationships would not matter.
iii. The reality of evil is evidence that God is still wanting us to choose to be in relationship with God.
- If I give up to the dead end road and allow evil to consume my heart and intentions and actions, then I don’t need God.
Go back to the key verse, the heart of this passage to the church and community at Ephesus:
***STAR (by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is God’s gift.)
Step you through… Tab A into Slot B:
- 1. Our life and relationships are entrusted to us from God. God made each of us, and declares we are good.
- 2. Before, Christ, you and I were walking dead…like zombies
- 3. We lived like we had no choice and no help.
- 4. Because God operates from Love, God has not forgotten nor forsaken us.
- 5. Evil is still present because God still wants us to have a choice in the matter of our lives.
- 6. By Faith, by intentionally choose to live in God and grow in God, the gift is opened and realized.
- 7. We are in this together. See a zombie, open the love of God to them in kindness.
- 8. God is more concerned about who you now than who you were, God makes us all new.
- **Because God operates from love for us, God takes the time, for settling our crime.
- God love us, the whole world, God waits patiently for us to want to travel with God…
- Q: What road are you traveling? dead end or life transforming?
- Q: People are going on the dead end road and we have news that will save them.
- There are people who are living as though they are not spiritual people in a physical body.
- Do go back down the road that dead ends
- Do go back, Don’t give up
- Turn town God, even at a crawl. baby steps before we run.
Then God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. [NRSV]
Learning the Commandments (Commandment: This defines us, Chain link fence a school)
- You shall have no other gods before me. (What about gods after, is it ok to have God number or but not exclusive, so we can have God’s cake and eat our icing?)
- You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments. (What if we use images made by nature that God has created, unmodified by human hands, can we worship a rock or natural formation?)
- You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name. (What name or names of God does this apply? What is Wrongful use? Is this limited to liable and slander but does it include thoughts or expressed?)
- Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work—you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and consecrated it. (Is this Saturday or Sunday? Does Tuesday count if I keep the others days for work and rest on Tuesday? What is work? What about cousins, volunteers, pets and enemies?)
- Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (What if parents are not keeping the commandments? Son go steal? Daughter lie for me?)
- You shall not murder. (What if I think about or talk about it but don’t carry it out?) BTW: I thought it was don’t kill, who changed it? What trimester? Is capital punishment murder or justice?)
- You shall not commit adultery. (What if we are engaged? What if we use protection? What if everyone is doing it? What if you are intoxicated and don’t know what you’ve done?)
- You shall not steal. (So God would rather we starve to death, than take food off the table of the rich?)
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (What about their neighbor, your enemies?
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (What about your neighbor’s neighbor, who is my neighbor? what about my enemy’s stuff?)
- No Other Gods
- Make No Idols
- No Name Misuse
- No work on the Sabbath
- Honor your parents
- No murder
- No adultery
- No stealing
- No false witness against your neighbor
- No coveting your neighbor and their stuff
One God, No Idols, Defamation, Work on Sabbath, Honor Parents, No Murder, Adultery, Stealing, Lying, Nor Coveting
Back to One
One Rule in the garden
10 Commandments on the mountain
613 Laws of Moses
Over 40K Laws, Codes, Statutes, Regulations, Policies, Case-law, Executive Order, Standing Rules, Binders, Contracts, Covenants on Federal, State, County, City and HOA levels of legal action, intent and guideline that are ever growing
Rather than look for loopholes, look for God
Rather than be constrained by laws, trust grace that completes the law
You and I are not worthy, we are not perfect, but Christ is Worthy and through him we move toward perfection.
Toward becoming most fully the people God created and hopes we will become in this and each day.
TAKE this time of JOURNEY, to memorize the ten commandment, to see how they DO apply to our lives and do provide the boundary.
Instead of trying to think how will we make it snow to get a day off of school, focus on learning how weather patterns work and make learning
Same with the big 10.
Keep them, don’t write them off has too few, too old or too incomplete..
Keep them, through grace of Christ, the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of God.
So Paul’s words to the church, In Rome and in Rock Spring and everywhere, is a great leap of history, covenant and faith. He takes God’s covenant with Father Abraham and looks back at how God comes to bless and covenant with him to explain how God also related with us.
Imagine Paul is making a grand movie, right up their with the 10 Commandment, Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia… He’s telling the great faith story of Abraham. Father of Nations and Founder of Faith for generations and generations. The Covenant of Covenants. Opening in a theater this Spring!
Now who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? But even if you do suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear, and do not be intimidated, but in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and reverence. Keep your conscience clear, so that, when you are maligned, those who abuse you for your good conduct in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you—not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him. [NRSV]
Suffering: Physical Suffering for a Spiritual Purpose: The Lenten Season
Jesus’ prime example is suffering death on the cross, exchanging his life for our life.
Peter’s instructions DON’T LIST
- Don’t give up, even when tempted, tested and tired
- Don’t be afraid, even though there are things, powers and people to fear
DO BE DO BE DO…
- Do have patience in suffering for Christ
- Be ready to explain your hope
- Do so with kindness
- Keep your conscience clear
- Don’t give in to what broken world dishes out
- Remember Jesus has already suffered for you.
- Return the example, as a RESPONSE to LOVE not a duty.
- SUMMARY OF THE GOSPEL 1PT 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit,
CITIZENSHIP: THEREFORE: Live like you are a baptized person..
- live like your saved
- live like God’s Spirit is in you…
- live like Jesus and all power, authority, angels and powers are at your disposal through Christ.
We begin a holy Lenten season of practicing..
We are Baptized, (Claimed, Saved, Empowered and Loved Children of God) Who we are,
We are encouraged by (Suffering in Faithfulness) what God has done through Jesus
The Lenten Test
- If you were a extravagantly generous wealthy person: How would you treat other people
- If you were a passionate lover of God: How would you express your devotion?
- If you were a radical host and friend: How would you welcome a stranger?
- If you were risk-taking servant: How far would you go to help someone who is hurting?
- If you were purposeful and intentional about growing your Spiritual self, What exercises would you do?
If you let yourself off the hook and say none of these are for me, this is the season to pick just one and practice.
Practice trusting Jesus.
Practice telling about our hope in the life Jesus promises.
Practice singing about the Good News that God continues to love us
Practice giving like God’s heart is your heart.
Practice looking at strangers as new best friends
Practice looking at suffering in the world is a place for you to personally plug in and be involved making one-on-one change
Practice your faith OUT LOUD, not just in your mind and not just with your friends and family.
PRACTICE giving power and grace to those who don’t deserve another chance.
is forty days plus Sundays between this past Wednesday and Easter for us to begin practicing what it means to be Easter people, BECAUSE the truth is we are not there yet.
We begin this journey acknowledging this is a journey
- it is not easy
- it is not quick
- it is not over
- it is not fair
- it is vitialy important and
- it is worth the time and faith to try…
So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come back.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one who is speaking to you.’ Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you speaking with her?’ Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?’ They left the city and were on their way to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ So the disciples said to one another, ‘Surely no one has brought him something to eat?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, “Four months more, then comes the harvest”? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.” I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.’ Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I have ever done.’ So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world.’
Combating Daily Dehydration
Spiritual thirst is daily
Thirst is satisfied with eternal water
It’s not a one sip for life and your inoculated
In the habits of daily bread, needs and chores come the invitation to begin a regiment of spiritual drinking
The Woman says:
I want water I don’t have to work to receive. Not realistic. Invitation is to start drinking
The Woman Sees more than the water and work:
The leap of faith is made with Jesus reveals the truth about her life and relationships.
The Shift comes in being known and being loved.
Jesus speaks the truth and judges with love and grace, this is the transforming power of the Gospel.
The woman stops talking about her work and starts telling about Gods work in her life.
1. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).
3. Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27).
4. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?, (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
5. I thirst (John 19:28).
6. It is finished (John 19:30).
7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46).
Sunrise at 7am at Dauset Trails
Easter Worship 9a and 11a
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying, “Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
The Affirmation of Jesus
The new translations make a subtle change on this emphasis of one verse. Modern translations emphasis that Jesus was sitting on people’s coats that were thrown on the back of a donkey on which Jesus road into the city of Jerusalem. The older translations simply say that Jesus sat on his ass. Modern readers are often offended or at least thrown off by hear a phrase in scripture that contains the word ass, and particularly one directly speaking of Jesus.
I suggest that modern readers/hearers need to be thrown off their own donkey so as not to miss the significance of Jesus’ entrance into the city and the hearts of the people.
1) Wisdom from the high school chemistry class: “Proper prior planning prevents poor performance.”
It is with specific intentionality that Jesus chooses a donkey, the foal of an ass to be his means of transportation.
As a matter of transparency in government spending, President Obama had new presidential limousine ordered by the secret service beginning at his inauguration. These cars must have had pentagon toilet seats because each cost $300k and they need fleet of ten or twelve. This no green hybrid fuel econo-commuter coup. But it is the type of vehicle we might expect the leader of the free world to have especially during the era of terrorist attacks. Jesus chooses a different approach, with intent.
The picture of Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem is not behind bulletproof windows and thick armor. He is not on a large bright steed adorned with emblems of gold and encrusted with gem deserving of a king. He is riding in on four wheel drive, untested first year model pickup. No HEMI engine, just basic work horse ride, clade not in steel rather in people’s coats.
2) Moab Mentality
SIDE NOTE: Have you wondered if they followed along to get their coats back at the end?
Bottom line: Jesus was coming into THE city of faith as a king, on purpose, planning to make a statement.
ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: Have you ever wondered about the crowd of followers stopping to cut down the branches off the trees in the city? Who did the tree belong to? If a parade walked down your road/street and the people started taking limbs off your trees would you mind? What would you say?
Bottom line: Jesus was coming into the city and the people give the respect and recognition of Jesus as prophet and king,
STILL ANOTHER SIDE NOTE: but why not trumpets, soldiers and colorful banners?
Bottom line: Jesus was welcomed with respect be the have-nots and masses rather than the few who have.
3) Imagine a Parade with no decorations.
No permits, no approved traffic routes, no advance warning for the merchants, school buses, or out of town travelers.
The whole city was in turmoil over Jesus being present.
This may indeed be the very heart of the Palm Sunday message.
What gets our town all stirred up into a state of turmoil?
• Storm damage.
• High School Playoffs.
• Mileage Rate increases.
• Tragic Deaths.
• Atlanta Traffic in Jackson.
But turmoil is a state or condition of extreme confusion or agitation.
What could Jesus have to do with EXTREEM confusion or
It is fascinating to me that one third of the space inside a clothes washing machine is taken up with a hard and ridged piece of plastic called that agitator. It moves around stirring things up and breaking the dirt and oils loose with the detergent.
We usually work hard to keep the peace.
We don’t want our community to be confused.
We would usually rather have things stay just the way they are, broken or not, than to have MASS CONFUSION.
BUT HERE IS THE HEAT OF PALM SUNDAY>>
Jesus shows up and his very presence turns things upside down and God side up.
Matthew’s Gospel continues by telling the Jesus cleansed the temple. He turned the religious folks upside down and threw them out.
This is not a children’s Sermon Sunday… unless we are teaching our children to take on the establishment when it is complacent, controlling or self-interested.
WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH US? Today?
Look at your hands, your palms.
What is within your influence, control or responsibility?
It is there you have the greatest chance of PRAISING KING JESUS.
DO IT! DO IT NOW. DO IT ANY WAY.