Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Daily Readings for SUNDAY, March 25, 2018 - Palm Sunday


Daily Readings
SUNDAY, March 25, 2018 (Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday)
(Revised Common Lectionary Year B)

Opening Sentence
All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

Prayer of the Day (Collect)
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Confession and Forgiveness

Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true;  but if we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves; and we sorrow for these wrongful acts and omissions from the bottom of our hearts. We humbly and fully repent all of our misdeeds, and pray that for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, you will have mercy on us and forgive us, not by our merits, but by that grace that He has granted those who confess his name. And we pray that you will be in our heart and walk with us, that we might sin no more. Amen.


The Lessons

at The Liturgy of the Palms

The Gospel: Mark 11:1-11
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
11:1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

or

John 12:12-16
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem
12 The next day the great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord—the King of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it; as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, daughter of Zion. Look, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written of him and had been done to him.

The Response: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29 Confitemini Domino
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; *
his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let Israel now proclaim, *
"His mercy endures for ever."
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord.
20 "This is the gate of the Lord; *
he who is righteous may enter."
21 I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
and have become my salvation.
22 The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing, *
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 On this day the Lord has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
25 Hosannah, Lord, hosannah! *
Lord, send us now success.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; *
we bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 God is the Lord; he has shined upon us; *
form a procession with branches up to the horns of the altar.
28 "You are my God, and I will thank you; *
you are my God, and I will exalt you."
29 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; *
his mercy endures for ever.


at The Liturgy of the Word

Old Testament: Isaiah 50:4-9a
The Servant’s Humiliation and Vindication
4 The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens—wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. 5 The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward. 6 I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. 7 The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 8 he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. 9 It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

The Response: Psalm 31:9-16 In te, Domine, speravi
9 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow, and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief, and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction, and my bones are consumed.
11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors, a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.
13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd; fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me; they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O Lord. *
I have said, "You are my God.
15 My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies, and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me."

The Epistle: Philippians 2:5-11
5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Gospel: Mark 14:1-15:47
The Plot to Kill Jesus
14:1 It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; 2 for they said, “Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.”
The Anointing at Bethany
3 While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. 4 But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? 5 For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. 9 Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”
Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
The Passover with the Disciples
12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?” 13 So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.” 16 So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal. 17 When it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”
The Institution of the Lord’s Supper
22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”
Peter’s Denial Foretold
26 When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all become deserters; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29 Peter said to him, “Even though all become deserters, I will not.” 30 Jesus said to him, “Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” 31 But he said vehemently, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And all of them said the same.
Jesus Prays in Gethsemane
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. 34 And he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” 35 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.” 37 He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? 38 Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 39 And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. 41 He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.”
The Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus
43 Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. 47 But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. 48 Then Jesus said to them, “Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled.” 50 All of them deserted him and fled. 51 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, 52 but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.
Jesus before the Council
53 They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. 54 Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. 55 Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. 56 For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. 57 Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 But even on this point their testimony did not agree. 60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?” 61 But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” 62 Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and ‘coming with the clouds of heaven.’” 63 Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? 64 You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?” All of them condemned him as deserving death. 65 Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” The guards also took him over and beat him.
Peter Denies Jesus
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, “You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. 69 And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.” 70 But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, “I do not know this man you are talking about.” 72 At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, “Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
Jesus before Pilate
15:1 As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” 3 Then the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 Pilate asked him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
Pilate Hands Jesus over to Be Crucified
6 Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. 7 Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. 8 So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. 9 Then he answered them, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. 12 Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate asked them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
16 Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. 18 And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. 20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. 28 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “And he was counted among the lawless.” 29 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
The Death of Jesus
33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 At three o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” 36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!” 40 There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
The Burial of Jesus
42 When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. 45 When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.


Here ends the Lessons

Click HERE to read today's Holy Gospel Lesson message

The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen

Closing Prayer
God of mercy, swift to help: as my lips pour forth your praise, fill my heart with the peace you give to those who wait for your salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Blessing
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

The Bible texts of the Old Testament, Epistle and Gospel lessons are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission. The Collects, Psalms and Canticles are from the Book of Common Prayer, 1979.

Sermon for SUNDAY, March 25, 2018 - Palm Sunday


"The Reality Of Palm Sunday"

1 When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, 5 some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. 7 Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. 9 Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” 11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

It was something new and exciting. A parade was forming. Everyone started to run to see what was happening. The people started to stretch necks to see over the person in front of them. The young children crawled between the legs of the adults to see if they could gaze upon what was happening.

Then everyone saw it! A man riding upon a donkey, and there were people racing in front of the man on the donkey throwing palm leaves and clothes in the path of the man and the donkey. People started to shout "Hosanna, Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" The crowd that gathered along the way started to catch the excitement, and they began to shout and run along side of the parade.

As they were running, some in the crowd turned to another and asked, "Who is the man? Why are we shouting our Hosannas? Is he a king?" And the other turned and said, "Yes, we think he is a king, the King of the Jews, see he is riding on a donkey as it says in scripture that the Messiah would come."

And the two of them ran off with the crowd caught up in the excitement of the moment.

And we can be like that too, caught up in the excitement of the moment as seen in the following:

"A young man walked up the sidewalk toward his home late one Friday afternoon and was greeted by his two children. They laughed and bounced with more than the usual amount of excitement.

"Daddy, Daddy, " the three-year-old started to say, "There’s a. . . " Whumpf! The five-year-old stuffed his palm vigorously across the three-year-old’s mouth. The three-year-old wrenched free, eyes still sparkling. "Daddy, Mommy and Jason and me have got a. . . " Whumpf! The hand closed across the mouth again, followed by these firm words from the five-year-old. "Sarah, if you don’t keep quiet, Daddy’s going to know there’s a surprise party inside for him!"

After a moment of awesome silence, the five-year-old flushed. Dad artfully pretended not to have heard a word. He hugged both children and, laughing together, all three raced into the house. "

The young children could hardly contain themselves with the excitement of the moment. They knew something exciting was going to happen and they could not hold it inside.

When the people in Jesus day saw him riding into Jerusalem that day, they knew that something exciting was happening. They knew that Jesus was riding as the Messiah would, and they thought they knew what that meant. They thought it meant they would be free from the Romans, they thought it meant that Jesus was going to be their King. So they got caught up in the excitement of the moment and celebrated, rejoiced at the picture which was forming in their mind’s eye. A picture of a king who would save them. A picture of a nation reborn. A picture of a people who would be free to be a mighty nation again. So they celebrated, they danced down the street, they shouted Hosannas!!

And then just a few short days later, that same crowd cried, crucify him, crucify him. They learned that the picture which was developing in their mind’s eye what not the picture that Jesus was painting for himself.

The dreams of that Palm Sunday were soon turned into the the stark realities of the betrayal, the trial and the crucifixion.

Their dreams were paraded down the streets of reality.

The reality of the situation was Jesus was not the kind of hero they hoped he would be. Jesus was not the kind of king to lead an earthly army. Jesus would not deliver the Jews from the Romans. Their dreams of who Jesus was turned into the reality of Jesus as a heavenly Messiah which they could not understand.

Even Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem wept for his beloved city, as it says in Luke’s gospel, for he knew the dreams of this day would turn into the reality of pain, death, and suffering.

During the week that followed this great triumphant ride into the city, Jesus spoke of the realities of who he was.

Remember, he cleansed the temple. He told of the temple’s demise, he told of the coming of the Son of Man.

In a sense he shattered the dreams of the people that day.

He told of the reality of was to come. The reality of death.

The crowds of Good Friday turned against Jesus for one reason because he didn’t fulfill the dreams they of him the Sunday before. Jesus had them see the reality of who he was, not an earthly king, but a heavenly king. He was not a warrior who would come to destroy the Romans. But Jesus was a warrior who would come to destroy death. He shattered the dreams of the people. He gave them a taste of reality and for that the people turned against him.

Jesus was painting a picture of a suffering Messiah. A Messiah who would suffer for the sins of the all people.

And the people cried crucify him because they could not understand that he was to be the suffering Messiah.They cried crucify him because Jesus did not fulfill their expectations. They cried crucify him because Jesus had let them down. They cried crucify him because they wanted a warrior king who would lead them into battle.

Jesus was the lamb who was to be sacrificed!

The people missed the point and they were angry.

What about us. Do we get the point?

Or are we like the boy in the following:

A bunch of kids, one summer afternoon, we involved in a pee-wee baseball game. When one little guy came up to the plate, he looked over to the coach for a signal. The coach signaled to sacrifice bunt. The little kid promptly proceeded to take three big swings and strike out.

The coach ran up to him afterwards and said: "Didn’t you see me give you the signal to sacrifice?"

"Yes," the boy replied. "But I didn’t really think you meant it."

But I didn’t really think you meant it. Is that how we react to Jesus. We really don’t think you meant to be the suffering Messiah. Are we like the crowd way back then, still wanting Jesus to be a conquering, warrior!

Or?

Or do we get it. Do we understand.

"Do we understand that instead we get a messiah who gives us power all right, but it’s a whole new kind of power, it’s THE POWER OF SUFFERING LOVE!

It’s a power that looks me in the eye, forgives my sin, my fear, my anger, my resentment, my prejudice!

It’s a power that didn’t assert itself over and against me, but died for me!

It’s a power that sets me free from all of that which is within me that dehumanizes me and others!

It’s a power that loosens my grip on all of my expectations and even allows me to see Christ’s face in the least and most lowly on this planet!

It’s a power that relates in grace, and invites me to join with him in being one of his special grace givers.

It’s a power that assures me I don’t need to be afraid of suffering, self-giving love, because it’s the only way I will ever fulfill my humanity, and find my purpose, and experience true joy and peace."

As Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote:

"God allows himself to be edged out of the world and on to the cross....and that is the way, the only way, in which he can be with us and help us....Only a suffering God can help."

The crowds on that first Palm Sunday wanted a Warrior King, but Jesus came as a suffering Messiah. Jesus came as one who would die on a cross for the sake of human kind.

The crowd missed the point. The crowd thought they knew but did not.

What about us? Do we get it? Is Jesus the suffering Messiah for us? Or are we still looking for a Warrior King who will turn the world upside down?

Do we see Jesus as the suffering Messiah who did turn the world upside down for our sake and continues to shape the world with his love and grace?

A parade gathers, we see Jesus coming, but what do you see?
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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The Bible texts are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the USA, and used by permission. Sermon contributed by Pastor Tim Zingale, St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Fort Dodge, Iowa on April 3, 2006.
"I didn’t really think you meant it."

The Morning Prayer for SUNDAY, March 25, 2018 - Palm Sunday


Giver of light, your steadfast love endures forever. Open our hearts to the Blessed One who comes so humbly, on a borrowed colt. Open before us the gates of your justice, that we may enter, confessing in heaven and on earth that Jesus is Lord.
Amen

Verse of the Day for SUNDAY, March 25, 2018 - Palm Sunday


1 John 1:9 (ESV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Read all of 1 John 1

Listen to 1 John 1

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Un dia a la Vez - Oración por madurez espiritual


Oración por madurez espiritual

No juzguen a nadie, para que nadie los juzgue a ustedes. Porque tal como juzguen se les juzgará.
~ Mateo 7:1-2 (NVI)

¡Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos! Acudo a ti porque me he dado cuenta que con mis palabras y con mis comentarios muchas veces he ofendido y herido a otros.

Dios mío, deseo ser una persona más espiritual sin caer en el fanatismo. Guíame a fin de que, cuando vea o escuche cosas que no me gustan o no me parezcan bien, no sea quien levante ni una palabra en contra de nadie.

Si me has perdonado y me has aceptado como soy, ¿quién soy yo para juzgar a los demás?

Te pido que me des la oportunidad de cambiar y poder ser sabio y prudente.

Enséñame a medir las consecuencias de mis palabras y pon en mí misericordia por los demás. También ayúdame a comprender que cuando señalo a alguien, hay otros cuatro dedos señalándome a mí.

Te amo y te necesito.

Amén y amén.

Un Día a la Vez Copyright © by Claudia Pinzón
¡Padre nuestro que estás en los cielos! Acudo a ti porque me he dado cuenta que con mis palabras y con mis comentarios muchas veces he ofendido y herido a otros.

Standing Strong Through the Storm - ANGELIC STRENGTHENING: THE GARDEN


ANGELIC STRENGTHENING: THE GARDEN

An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.
~ Luke 22:43 (NIV)

Today’s devotional comes from a Chinese house church pastor who was arrested and held for three weeks just prior to this talk. He says his experience was going with Christ to the Garden and to the Cross. Today he explains The Garden:

My arrest was totally unexpected. There was no warning. I was teaching a seminar in one of our church groups in northeast China, when in the middle of the afternoon, six policemen burst in and the next thing I knew I was punched in the stomach and lying on the floor. One of the policemen put his foot hard on my neck and I couldn’t move. I was then allowed to get up. Someone rammed me in the kidneys with a baton and I fell again, gasping from the pain. The pain was sharp and severe all the way to the police station, and I couldn’t take anything but the shallowest breaths. It turned out my digestion was ruined for months.

Although it was unexpected, there was a strange way in which I had been prepared for it. The night before, I was praying at midnight for the seminar. I had a list of all the participants, and was praying for each one. The more I prayed, the more discouraged I became. These men and women were too young, or too uneducated, or too wounded. I just felt that they were not good enough to be leaders in our movement. I slumped and sighed and felt very depressed. Also, I was having a bad stomach ache. For weeks my stomach was sore and nausea had been my constant companion.

Then all of a sudden I felt a depression on the sofa, like someone had entered the room and sat down beside me. I opened my eyes. There was no one there, but the depression on the sofa remained. Then I felt a large hand on my back. It was hot and pressed into my lower spine, straightening me up. I felt strong again and my nausea disappeared. Then a soft voice said, “I am strengthening you for the fight. Do not worry about these young people. I am the strength of God, sent by Jesus to look after them and you. I will help you because He loves you.”

That was an angel. I am convinced of that. Just as the Scripture says of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Then an angel from heaven appeared to him and gave him strength” (Luke 22:43), so it was for me. Angels appear to give us strength. And so all the time I was being taken to the police station in a cramped van, I was repeating the words of the angel to me, “I will help you because He loves you.”

So I want to make this clear to you all. Whenever you face the challenge of suffering for Christ, you will be angelically strengthened beforehand. You need to keep praying, because that’s when the angel comes. But if you pray, you will be ready, because an angel will be there to strengthen you to bear anything.

RESPONSE: Today I will continue to pray and trust God for His angelic strengthening.

PRAYER: Thank You, God, for Your angelic host who come to strengthen in our greatest point of need.

Standing Strong Through The Storm (SSTS), a daily devotional message by SSTS author Paul Estabrooks. © 2011 Open Doors International. Used by permission.

LHM Devotion - March 25, 2018 - Victory Palms

https://www.lhm.org/dailydevotions/default.asp?date=20180325

Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Victory Palms"

Mar. 25, 2018

Read Mark 11:1-10

And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields.
~ Mark 11:8 (ESV)

Where I grew up, we had palm trees everywhere. There were palms at the beach, palms used as street trees, palm thickets so deep you could lose yourself playing hide and seek. There were even palms trying to grow up through the sidewalk cracks!

Palms grew abundantly in Judea as well, where they were a symbol for victory, glory, and kingship. When the crowds saw Jesus coming, riding humbly on a donkey, they cut palm fronds to strew before Him on the road. The symbolism was clear: "Here is our victorious King, the Messiah, the Son of David."

And they were right. Jesus was their King -- though His crown would be of thorns, and His throne a cross. He was victorious -- though not over the Roman invaders, as many expected. Instead, He came to conquer sin, death, and the devil -- the enemies of the whole human race. No one and nothing would stop Him.

And by His suffering, death, and resurrection, our King did win the victory for Himself and for all who believe in Him. That is why we, too, will stand before Him with palm branches in our hands on the Last Day, rejoicing and calling out, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" (Revelation 7:10b).

THE PRAYER: Help me, Lord, to rejoice in Your victory over death and evil. Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin! Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).
Have you ever seen a palm tree with your own eyes? When and where? What was it like?

Devocional del CPTLN de 25 de Marzo de 2018 - PALMAS DE VICTORIA


ALIMENTO DIARIO

"PALMAS DE VICTORIA"

25 de Marzo de 2018

Domingo de Ramos
Leer Marcos 11:1-10

Por el camino, muchos tendían también sus mantos, mientras que otros cortaban ramas que habían cortado en el campo.
~ Marcos 11:8 (RVC)

En el lugar donde crecí había palmeras por todos lados. Las playas tenían palmeras, los árboles que había en las calles eran palmeras, los matorrales eran de hojas de palmas tan espesos, que uno podía jugar a las escondidas. ¡Hasta trataban de crecer entre las rajaduras de las calles y veredas!

En Judea, donde eran un símbolo de victoria, gloria y realeza, las palmeras también eran abundantes. Cuando una multitud de personas vio venir a Jesús montado humildemente sobre un burro, cortaron hojas de palmas para tender delante de él en el camino. El simbolismo fue claro: "He aquí nuestro Rey victorioso, el Mesías, el Hijo de David."

Y estaban en lo cierto. Jesús era su Rey, aun cuando su corona iba a ser de espinas y su trono una cruz. Jesús era victorioso, aunque no sobre los romanos invasores como muchos esperaban, sino sobre el pecado, la muerte y el diablo, los enemigos de la raza humana. Nada ni nadie habría de frenarlo.

Y por su sufrimiento, muerte y resurrección, nuestro Rey obtuvo la victoria para sí mismo y para todos quienes confían en él. Es por ello que, en el último día, nosotros también estaremos delante de él con ramas de palmas alegrándonos y diciendo: "La salvación proviene de nuestro Dios, que está sentado en el trono, y del Cordero" (Apocalipsis 7:10b).

ORACIÓN: Ayúdame, Señor, a regocijarme en tu victoria sobre la muerte y el diablo. Amén.

© Copyright 2018 Cristo Para Todas Las Naciones. Que a través de estos devocionales, la Palabra de Dios te refresque en tu diario caminar.
¿Alguna vez has visto una palmera con tus propios ojos? ¿Cuando y donde? ¿Cómo fue?

Notre Pain Quotidien - Qui est celui-ci ?

https://www.ministeresnpq.org/2018/03/25/qui-est-celui-ci-2/

Qui est celui-ci ?

Lisez : Luc 19.28-40
La Bible en un an : Josué 19 – 21 ; Luc 2.25-52

Béni soit le roi qui vient au nom du Seigneur ! (V. 38)

Imaginez‑vous debout, épaule à épaule, avec des spectateurs le long d’une route de terre. La femme derrière vous se tient sur la pointe des pieds, cherchant à voir qui s’en vient. Au loin, vous apercevez un homme à dos d’âne. À son approche, les gens jettent leur manteau sur la route. Soudain, vous entendez un arbre craquer derrière vous. Un homme est en train de couper des branches de palmier, et les gens les déposent devant l’âne.

Les disciples de Jésus l’ont honoré avec zèle lors de son entrée à Jérusalem quelques jours avant sa crucifixion. La multitude se réjouissait et louait Dieu « pour tous les miracles qu’ils avaient vus » (LU 19.37). Les adeptes de Jésus l’ont entouré et se sont exclamés : « Béni soit le roi qui vient au nom du Seigneur ! » (V. 38.) Leurs hommages enthousiastes ont gagné les gens de Jérusalem. À l’arrivée de Jésus, « toute la ville fut émue, et l’on disait : Qui est celui‑ci ? » (MT 21.10.)

De nos jours, les gens sont encore curieux au sujet de Jésus. Bien que nous ne puissions pas lui paver le chemin de branches de palmier ni lui crier des louanges en personne, nous pouvons toujours l’honorer. Il nous est possible de discuter de ses œuvres remarquables, de venir en aide aux gens dans le besoin, de supporter les insultes avec patience et de nous aimer profondément les uns les autres. Puis il nous faut nous tenir prêts à répondre aux spectateurs qui demandent à savoir : « Qui est Jésus ? »

Nous honorons le nom de Dieu en vivant comme ses enfants.


© 2018 Ministères NPQ
Imaginez‑vous debout, épaule à épaule, avec des spectateurs le long d’une route de terre...