April 5, 2020 – Sermon by Pastor Tim

Palm Sunday 2020 Look, your king is comingDownload

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March 25, 2018 – Palm Passion Sunday

Palm-Passion Sunday    March 25, 2018   Psalm 118, John 12:12-16, Mark 14-15 ***************************************************************** If we remember just one thing today – I hope it will be – Stay with me – remain here with me – watch and pray – watch and pray. We’ve sung these words spoken by Jesus. Stay with me. Remain with me. Watch and pray with me. One of the simplest things Jesus asks us to do. Yet it can be difficult to stay close to someone suffering. Keeping company with people suffering didn’t come naturally for me. I’ve had to learn by doing over the years. Being willing to share in the suffering of others (of course) is part of our job description as Christians. Jesus tells us love one another. It’s his first commandment. And I’ve learned… being there for people in the midst of difficulties and suffering is a very big part of what it means to love. And what Jesus asks from us is really not so hard, in perspective. Even though I’m a slow learner, I do want to spend time with those I love when they’re  hurting. And the vicarious suffering Jesus asks us to share with him in Holy Week is small indeed compared with his own actual experience. Jesus has been through the worst imaginable for us… And – we’ve already accompanied him to the cross and the grave today. Remaining with him through the rest of this holy week ought to be less difficult. Especially as we understand… The worst pain for Jesus is not being beaten and whipped… nor even the nails of the cross. The worst pain for Jesus…. is his friends denying him and fleeing away… and being left alone. That’s why he asks us – Stay with me – remain here with me – watch and pray – watch and pray. Last week I came across a meditation by Pastor Anne Jernberg (written for Christian Century magazine) about a retreat in a monastery she participated in.  She writes, “I was on my knees in a monastery…. imagining being in the garden of Gethsemane as the brothers and other worshipers and I gathered and sang the Taize refrain “Stay with me – remain here with me – watch and pray – watch and pray” over and over again. It was then that I realized that Jesus needed me to walk with him…” (She continues–) “I had come to the monastery that evening for a brief respite from my studies. I left four hours later with bruised knees, an aching back, a raspy voice and a growling stomach. To top it off, I felt guilty because I didn’t stay through the night. (The brothers began singing that night and continued to sing in shifts until the Good Friday service the following afternoon.)” But, she says – …“I experienced something that night. [As–] Someone read the words Jesus prayed in the garden, “Father if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done”… we were instructed to get on our knees and begin singing. That was it – one brief scripture followed by 18 hours of singing four simple phrases.” “Some sang the phrases through a few times and then got up and left… others lasted longer…. The length...

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Palm Sunday-April 9, 2017 – Look, your king is coming

Palm Sunday   April 9, 2017   Psalm 118, John 11:45-57, 12:1-11, 12:12-19   Look, your king is coming ************************************************* Signs are meant to point to something. And some signs are easier to understand than others. It’s relatively easy to know what a STOP sign means. (Even before we can read, we can learn to recognize the stop-sign’s message by its shape, size, color and that four-letter-word meaning something we don’t always want to do…) Other roadside signs can be a bit harder to decipher… traveling at highway speed in unfamiliar surroundings. Did that sign mean downtown Providence this exit? Or was it Providence, next exit? And then, of course, sometimes even clear obvious signs are widely ignored. It’s not considered unusual in Massachusetts to be going 9 miles over the speed limit and be the slowest car on the road. I’ve even seen motorists slow down just a little, glance both ways, then run the red light at Barlow’s Landing and County Road… And I confess, sometimes especially at night, that “No Right Turn on Red” sign can be hard for me to see… coming out of Market Basket when no one’s coming… Some signs are easier to read, believe, and interpret than other signs. St John the gospel writer uses the word “sign” to describe anything miraculous Jesus does. And just to keep us on our toes – John will also use the word sign sometimes to describe some less-obviously miraculous things Jesus does. Sign is a big word in the vocabulary of John’s gospel. And even way back when, not everybody notices every sign equally… When Jesus feeds thousands from just a few loaves and fishes, everyone who sees and eats that meal is ready to make him king then and there on the spot. But elsewhere in John’s gospel, people are often slow to see and slower still to understand signs Jesus does. Possibly partly as a result, Jesus does many signs almost in private. Only a few even notice what’s he’s doing when he turns water into wine. Only a few disciples see him walking on water. And when Jesus does signs that point to his divine power in public – healing a lame man, giving eyesight to the blind – many religious leaders are not only not impressed – they’re profoundly disturbed and angry with Jesus… for what they see as violation of good order… Since these healings take place on Sabbath days. Now Jesus has just raised his friend Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha, up from the dead… (We’re picking up now where we left off last week.) And this giving of new life to the dead is the sign that seals the fate of Jesus (in John’s telling of the gospel)… Because, we’re told… Religious leaders are convinced this unauthorized raising of the dead will cause people to follow Jesus and name him king. And if Jesus is acclaimed as king – so the religious leaders reason – the Roman Empire will come down like a hammer on Israel, and destroy the temple and crush the nation. And Caiaphas, the high priest, says, “It’s better to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation be destroyed.” With plenty of unconscious irony, Caiaphas speaks prophetically John tells us. Jesus...

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2017 Holy Week Schedule

        Sunday, April 9th: Palm Sunday 9:00am Worship at Cataumet UMC 11:00am Worship at Bourne UMC Thursday, April 13th: Maundy Thursday 7:00pm Worship at Cataumet UMC Friday, April 14th: Good Friday 7:00pm Worship at Bourne UMC Saturday, April 15th: Holy Saturday 4:00pm to 8:00pm the Bourne UMC will be open for prayer and meditation Sunday, April 16th: Easter Sunday 6:00am Sunrise Worship at Scusset Beach 9:00am Worship at Cataumet UMC 11:00am Worship at Bourne...

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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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