“Gentleness, Power and a Donkey” (Matthew 21:1-11; 2 Corinthians 10:1-11)  Palm Sunday March 25, 2018

Lenten Candle Extinguishing: (5 unlit, 1 purple & Christ candle lit)

 

L1:       Today is Palm Sunday, the sixth Sunday in Lent. We remember Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. Each week the Light of the World diminishes.

 

L2:       For three years Jesus has engaged in actions with Jerusalem, yet now his hour draws near.

 

P:         The Temple was cleansed of moneychangers as Jesus made a whip of cords to drive them out, overturning tables. None laid a hand on him, for his hour had not yet come. 

 

L1:       By the Sheep Gate of Jerusalem a man laid on a mat, unable to get into the pool of Bethsaida. Jesus heals the man on the Sabbath, yet none laid a hand on him, for his hour had not yet come.

 

P:         At the festival of the Temple’s Dedication, Jesus is asked whether he’s the Messiah. He tells them, “The Father and I are one.” They wished to stone him for blasphemy, but none laid a hand on him, for his hour had not yet come.

 

L2:       Now, however, he has given his final sign: just outside of Jerusalem, in Bethany, he has raised Lazarus from the dead. Passover is approaching and the authorities fear such signs will prompt Roman reprisals, the destruction of both the Temple and the nation.

 

P:         Today Jesus throws pitch onto the fire by deliberately riding a donkey, a sign of kingship from ancient Israel. Crowds shout, “Hosanna! Blessed is the King of Israel!”

 

L1:       Yet by week’s end the crowds will shout to the Roman governor Pilate, “We have no king but the emperor!”

 

P:         And the light of the world will be extinguished.

 

L2:       (Leading unison prayer): Let us pray in one voice:

 

U:        The world has grown darker over these past six weeks. The hour had not yet drawn near when Jesus would be lifted up. Yet now that hour approaches, when the sun itself will be darkened, the curtain of the temple torn in two, the earth shake and rocks split. Our shadows will be there, too, darkening that light. (Extinguish candle). Forgive us, O God, in your great mercy. Amen.

 

L:         Let us sing, “Here Hangs a Man Discarded.”

 

Scripture (Matthew 21:1-11; 2 Corinthians 10:1-11)                     

                                   

Our first reading comes from the good news according to Matthew. 

1When Jesus and the disciples had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples,
 2saying 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.
 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’
 4This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5‘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.’
 6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them;
 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them.
8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
9The 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!’
 10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’
11The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’

Our second reading comes from the second letter to the Corinthians.

1I myself, Paul, appeal to you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ—I who am humble when face to face with you, but bold towards you when I am away!—
 2I ask that when I am present I need not show boldness by daring to oppose those who think we are acting according to human standards.
 3Indeed, we live as human beings, but we do not wage war according to human standards;
 4for the weapons of our warfare are not merely human, but they have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments
 5and every proud obstacle raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.
6We are ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is complete.
7Look at what is before your eyes. If you are confident that you belong to Christ, remind yourself of this, that just as you belong to Christ, so also do we.
 8Now, even if I boast a little too much of our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for tearing you down, I will not be ashamed of it.
9I do not want to seem as though I am trying to frighten you with my letters.
10For they say, ‘His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.’
11Let such people understand that what we say by letter when absent, we will also do when present.

Here ends our readings. May God bless our  understanding.

@Copyrighted by Rev. Dr. Troy Sybrant Sermon: “Gentleness, Power and a Donkey” (Matthew 21:1-11; 2 Corinthians 10:1-11)  Palm Sunday March 25, 2018

“Gentleness, Power and a Donkey”

Sermon Video:

Sermon Slide click HERE