Holy Week begins this Sunday as we travel with Jesus into Jerusalem where he is hailed as the Messiah, the long-awaited King by cheering crowds waving palms. What is this strange palm parade about? And how does this same joyous crowd shouting Christ's praises on Palm Sunday end up shouting "Crucify Him!" just four days later?
Let’s listen as we remember the extraordinary claim of our faith--that God's love is more powerful than the darkest darkness, more powerful even than death.
First Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death--
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Second Scripture Reading: Luke 19:28-40
After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “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. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,
“Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
During this season of Lent, we have been exploring "habits of joy." This week, Rev. Rebecca invites us to examine the relationship between generosity and joy. Contrary to the culture of consumerism all around us, our faith reminds us that possessions and money can never really make us happy. In fact, it is giving and serving that truly fill us with joy. Let's listen as we hear what our scripture readings this week from Paul's second letter to the Corinthians and Jesus' parable of the foolish rich man in the Gospel of Luke have to share about the vital link between generosity and leading a full and joyful life.
During this season of Lent, we have been exploring "habits of joy." This week, we are examining the relationship between listening to God and the joy of purpose and fulfillment. Many of our kids and youth helped lead this week's service, sharing some the things they have been learning in Sunday School the last several weeks. Together with them, we will explore the story of Jesus' visit to Mary and Martha on his way to Jerusalem. This week's sermon is a "guest preacher" - Alex Floyd Marshall, our Director of Children and Youth Ministries. Our journey begins with a dramatization of the story of Mary and Martha-- written by our Sunday School students-- which sets the story in today's world.