March 20, 2016 – Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday   March 20, 2016   Ps 118, Isaiah 50:4-9a, Philippians 2:5-11, Luke 19:28-40 ***************************************************************** Jesus comes into Jerusalem – a triumphant king – riding a young colt. A humble way for a king to travel, compared with the customary war horse or chariot. But riding a lowly colt is how the Messiah King will come – according to the prophet Zechariah, who foretold this scenario long ago. And swelling crowds of disciples walking with Jesus understand the symbolism – of Jesus riding over the crest of the hill of the Mount of Olives – the place Zechariah prophesied – where the Messiah will appear.  And now the crowds are naming Jesus king, spreading cloaks before him… Greeting him as royalty…. Finally they seem to be getting it. Understanding who Jesus is at last – as they shout for joy and sing praises – “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!… Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Up to now even his closest disciples have had a hard time recognizing who Jesus is. Now maybe they’re beginning to understand what the angels proclaimed at his birth. Jesus is King of Israel and Son of God… We heard angels shout for joy, announcing Jesus’s birth, remember – “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace, good will among people...” Now the crowds walking with Jesus are crying “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven!” Angels sang ‘peace on earth’ at the holy birth… Now crowds say “peace in heaven.” Instead of “peace on earth.” As Jesus enters the capitol city it’s evident that as much as Jesus wants to bring peace on earth, he’s still meeting with massive resistance. Not from pagan culture yet (that will come later) but from God’s own people. Some members of the sect most zealous for the religious law tell Jesus “Teacher, order your disciples to be still!” Probably they’re afraid the Roman Empire will come down hard on Jerusalem, maybe even destroy the city, if word gets out – a prophet’s come into town claiming to be king. But Jesus says “If my disciples were silent, the stones would have to shout.” Of course according to conventional wisdom the Pharisees are right. In the Roman Empire that rules over the land there’s only one king, Caesar. Anyone else claiming to be king – anyone looking like followers of a rival king to Caesar – will be dealt with most severely. Yet Jesus says “If my disciples are silent the stones will have to shout aloud.” And here we are watching, as King Jesus comes into town, announcing, quietly, yet dramatically, his identity as King. King over all. And much as in Jerusalem long ago, so today. Jesus is welcomed with great joy by some. Greeted with disdain, dismay, and resistance by others. Even among those who welcome Jesus, some give lip-service, while actively resisting Jesus and his teachings in daily life. Causing stones to cry out… Today is the day we call Palm Sunday. All four gospels tell this story of Jesus entering Jerusalem; only John’s gospel actually mentions palms. Matthew and Mark tell of disciples placing cut branches before Jesus. Luke’s gospel speaks of disciples spreading cloaks before...

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Week of March 20, 2016 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, March 20th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Palm Sunday Monday, March 21st: 6:00 PM Finance Committee 7:00 PM Church Council Thursday, March 24th: 7:00 PM Maundy Thursday Service at Cataumet UMC Friday, March 25th: 7:00 PM Good Friday Service at Bourne UMC Saturday, March 26th: 3:00 PM Girl Scouts Sunday, March 27th: 6:00 AM Easter Sunrise Service at Scusset Beach 11:00 AM Easter Worship Service THE CHURCH OFFICE IS CLOSED this Friday, March 25th. THE PSALMS DISCUSSION GROUP is adjourned until further notice. BIBLE STUDY will not meet this Thursday, March 24th, but we will meet next week on the 31st. BACKPACK PROJECT: We are collecting food items for our ongoing backpack project. For more information and a list of food needed, please pick up a flier on your way out to fellowship. APRIL NEWSLETTER DEADLINE is Tuesday, April 5th. Please have any articles and information you would like included in the next newsletter, into the church office by 9:00am on that date. Thank you!  ...

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