25/03/2018: PALM SUNDAY 2018
CALL TO WORSHIP
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
2 Let Israel say:
“His love endures forever.”
19 Open for me the gates of the righteous;
I will enter and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord
through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
23 the Lord has done this,
and it is marvellous in our eyes.
24 The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
25 Lord, save us!
Lord, grant us success!
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
From the house of the Lord we bless you.
27 The Lord is God,
and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will praise you;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
Luke 19: 29-38
Jesus was near Bethpage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives when he called for two of His Disciples saying “go into the village ahead of us, and as you enter you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks why you are untying it, just say “the Lord needs it.” So, the two went into the village and found the colt, as they were told. When they were untying the colt the owners asked, “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 approached the path leading down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the Disciples began to praise God joyfully, with loud voices, for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying “Hosanna in the Highest. Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven.”
I encourage you to change the format for your Fellowship Group meeting, and personal devotions, this week. The readings above are to guide you in your spiritual journey for the last few days of Lent. Palm Sunday is the beginning of “Holy Week” – in five days Jesus will be crucified on a Cross. The final approach to the Cross begins with Palm Sunday and the welcome the crowds give Jesus as he enters Jerusalem.
I wonder what impact the crowd’s cheering, and celebrations had on Jesus’ thoughts and emotional focus during this week? Did each passing day fill him with a deeper sense of impending crisis? Was he afraid of “what tomorrow” might bring his way? Was Jesus lonely? Did he ever want to give up his calling? Did he feel he could trust his closest friends to support him if things really turned rough?
I wonder what questions pass through your mind as you think about Jesus, and your relationship with him, this week?
Please join me on Thursday evening at 6pm in the church for our “Service of Shadows” (Tenebrae).