Jesus never seems opposed to things in and of themselves. On Palm Sunday we will hear of donkeys, palm branches, and cloaks.
A parade or procession will commence. We could use our imagination a bit and certainly see a parade today with things Jesus might well use: a marching band, fire trucks, motorcycles, and even a few horses.
We know Jesus through scripture but also in our past traditions and in the here and now. He knows our human frame in every age and beckons us to use the current things necessary to get people’s attention.
I can’t think that Jesus would be opposed to the internet, zoom meetings, or hundreds of other audio-visual means at hand in this 21st Century. The abuse of these might be another story!
So, we are called to be creative in service to God and neighbor. To be good stewards of everything that comes our way.
This Palm Sunday indeed wave your ancient palm branches as well as your ball caps, flags, pennants, texts, emails, instagrams, and such. Celebrate and bear witness in multiple ways to the Life, Death, and Resurrection of the Savior of the whole wide world in every age and culture.
When God created……Genesis 1:31 says, “Everything was very good.” It’s just a matter of how we use everything!
Blessings on this Palm Sunday and coming Holy Week!
Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 5:5-10 and John 12:20-33
I write this on St. Patrick’s Day 2021. The Irish heritage is celebrated here and yon. We wear green and consider our ancestry. If we have little or no Irish in us, we join their fun for a day and then return to our Scottish, Hispanic, African, or Asian roots!
The world is indeed a diverse and “mixed bag” of peoples. The time of Jesus was no different. Our John text says “some Greeks” were seeking an audience with Jesus. They ask Phillip to help. Phillip asks Andrew to assist. These Greeks were probably Gentiles rather than Greek-speaking Jews. Jesus gets the attention of folks from all over the world. The just curious as well as those seeking answers to ultimate questions.
Would that all would seek Jesus! Whatever their motivation. Jesus welcomes a wide range of seekers but cannot help those who will not inquire or those who willfully ignore the Big Questions in life. Whether of Irish, Greek, Asian, or Indian descent our quest for eternal answers begins and ends in the One that both Jeremiah and the book of Hebrews point to.
Let us consider both question and answer this coming Sunday. Let us walk in the shoes of “Greeks” (or inquiring Irish!) for a day and be seekers. As people of faith we have already found our answer but we are about helping others ask the questions as well. Can we live in such a way those around us might ask, “Sir (or madam)? We would see Jesus.”
We have a witness to make in both word and deed. Consider your influence and impact on others as we gather to worship. And bring your own pondering questions as well!
The John text and the Ephesians text are some of Christian faiths most primary scriptures. Bedrock, foundational messages about Christ and us BOTH placed in a wonderful position with God and even THAT by God’s doing not ours! It’s good to refresh ourselves and restate for our sake and others some of our most basic beliefs and practices.
But in passing, we also encounter one of the oddest passages in the Bible: the lifting up of a poisonous serpent on a pole in order for the complaining, sinning, punished, wandering wilderness Israelites to be healed!! We will at least take a look at that on Sunday. And we will find that John certainly has a place for that peculiar text in his Gospel’s third chapter!
So in scripture readings, sermon, and song this Sunday, we will cover a lot of solid Christian teaching about sin, Grace, and healing. I would think it would be Good News! Invite someone to join us in person or listen in on the websites. Worship and preparing for ongoing discipleship is always a good place to begin your week! Even if we have to consider briefly that serpent on a pole!!
March “comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.” An old saying like any old saying: some truth to it, but not always true! March 2021, for those of us in Tennessee, has been fairly moderate (compared to last March 3 when portions of Tennessee were hit hard by tornadoes).
As for this week in Lent, our John text indeed has Jesus coming into The Temple like a lion! Cleansing sacred space which has been corrupted into a marketplace. And let it be noted he certainly goes out on Good Friday like a Lamb.
Jesus knew his Bible! He knew what it was to honor God based on the commandments from our Exodus text. And he took action, forcefully, to wake people up! And he also has another lesson for his disciples to hear: another temple, the body of Jesus, will be torn down and raised again in three days.
So, this Sunday we will explore these scriptures through an emphasis from 40 plus years ago: WWJD or What Would Jesus Do? These initials WWJD wound up on bracelets or T-shirts intended for youth to wear.
It is still a question that any age person can ask even today. To answer that question is still a challenge. And we may find that the letters WWJHMD is more accurate and helpful even if no less challenging!
Come to worship Sunday as we hear the Word together and also share together at The Lord’s Table. When we depart after the service we can all leave and ask WWJHMD?