“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… Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Mark 11:2-3, 9-10
This Sunday is Palm Sunday, and if we have ever needed a Palm Sunday, it’s now. The people shouted “Hosanna!” which in the Hebrew language means to save or to rescue. It is a shout of praise and acclamation made in acknowledgement of the Messiah, our Savior. It’s as if the people were shouting, “Save us, we pray!”
I don’t know about you, but I sure could use a good shout! The people were shouting in joyful hope of a change. They were tired of Roman rule, and they hoped that Jesus was going to do something about it. Well, some of us are tired of the oppression we see enacted in areas that are ravaged by war, in areas where tremendous suffering is being felt. When we start talking about Jesus, we feel a shout of joyful hope welling up within us because we are expecting a change!
But Palm Sunday also signals a breaking of sorts. Prior to this day, Jesus had not wanted His identity to be revealed. It wasn’t time. But Palm Sunday marks a break in the timeline. Kings usually rode on horses, not donkeys. A break in the paradigm. The colt was unridden, yet Jesus was able to get on it. A break from the norm. And the people waved palm branches, broken branches from the palm tree, to hail this unlikely Savior. There was a breaking on display that no one noticed.
When you think about it, something had to break. Jesus did not leave His heavenly home to come and hang with the fellas. He did not take this ride into Jerusalem as some display of pomp and circumstance. No, Palm Sunday represents Jesus’ entry into the ring, into the Divine arena where He would experience the fight of His life. The fight for our lives. Something had to break.
Palm Sunday moves us into Holy Week, the Passion (Suffering) of Jesus. In the week to come Jesus would experience anguish, setback, adversity, danger, and risk. Jesus would be tortured, rejected, and socially isolated from His closest followers and family. Sounds like some of the emotions that we are experiencing today.
And since hosanna means “save us, we pray!” as we make our way out of this pandemic we shout – Hosanna! Mass shootings – Hosanna! Racial violence – Hosanna! War & genocide – Hosanna! Suffering – Hosanna! Save us, we pray! And we appear on the side of the road, holding our broken branches, our broken hearts, our broken selves, and we cry out to the only One who can rescue us, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! The One who knows a little something about suffering. That’s why He is able to help us in our time of need.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.
What happened on that day so long ago, was a paradigm shift. The people hailed Jesus as their king, a revolutionary act for sure, but they did it because they were tired of living in brokenness. They did it because of what they had seen, heard, and had come to know. That Jesus is our Messiah! The One who has come to save us.
Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed.
Jesus’ very body was broken for us! May we lift up our hands, as they did the palms, in praise and adoration, joining in the chorus crying out “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” If we ever needed a Palm Sunday, it’s now!
Join us this Sunday as we celebrate with palms, organ, bells, vocals, and a baptism! You can worship in-house at 10:00am (masks optional), or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Organ Recital this Sunday, 3pm, with guest organist Andrew Peters. This is part of the Soltau Concert Series. This has been widely promoted, so get there early to get a good seat!
Maundy Thursday will be celebrated in a joint service at Union Memorial UMC, 1141 Belt Ave., on Thursday, April 14, 6:30pm. We will take the Lord’s Supper together as Jesus did on His last night with the disciples. And for those who desire, foot washing will be available.
7 Last Words of Christ on Good Friday, April 15, at Noon. Hear the 7 last words that Jesus uttered from the cross in a dynamic, tag-team format, delivered by 7 masterful preachers in one afternoon! (2 of them were formerly at Green Trails!) Add in some musical selections and it will be a Good Friday to remember! Invite friends and family to meet you at the foot of the cross!
Breakthrough Prayer Gathering We’ll gather for a time of worship, visioning, and of course prayer on Saturday, April 30, 10-12:30p. Lunch will be provided. Be on the lookout for a registration email soon. Prayer changes things, church. And I’m a firm believer that the church that prays together, stays together! So, let’s do this – together!
Prayers go out to Bill and Bobbi Irwin in the passing of his father. Please keep them in prayer for the comfort of the Holy Spirit and peace in their hearts.
Easter Outside! Yes, once again we will let the world know (or at least our corner of it) that the tomb was empty! We invite you to bring a comfy chair, but we will also have chairs available. In the event of inclement weather, we will be indoors. Either way, I look forward to celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!