SCRIPTURE: Matthew 21:1-11
TEXT: Matthew 21:9 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
THEME: Palm Sunday
Just in the same way that Jesus is a different kind of Messiah than we expected, Jesus is a different kind of sovereign than what we might expect.
They stop right out side of Jerusalem, almost as if staging for a parade, while a couple disciples go and get a donkey and it's colt. An intentional statement of who Jesus is, as a colt is what the king of Israel rides on for a coronation, and a donkey is a work animal used for farming and other creative endeavors in peaceful times. Paradoxical but we can hope for a peaceful sovereign who establish a rule in the midst of an oppressive Roman regime.
As the animals arrive the procession begins. Israelis patriotism rises up. Shouts of salvation, political and spiritual. Hosanna, to the son of David, blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Momentum is building. There is an excitement of liberation in the air that doesn’t care who hears. We all love a little rebellion, to advocate in a safe way, to be a little radical for a good cause, to speak out for justice, to shout out for life, to make noise for freedom, to protest for God’s ways!
The crowd ran up ahead taking cloaks and laying them on the ground to create a carpeted road. Palm branches were cut and laid along the path in honor of their liberator, savior, and sovereign.
This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.
How does having Jesus as sovereign inform our relationship with God?
We benefit by being under the rule of Jesus. We have seen how his ministry has added to our anticipation of what is to come. A reign where the differently abled are welcomed. A reign where all are accepted to be apart of the community that is seeking and discovering what it means to live in relationship with God. A reign where there is hope even when our lives end with death.
When all that Jesus has done and taught was combined with the setting of the entrance to the holy city of Jerusalem the template of the king of Israel falls into place. Praise and worship befitting a king rises.
God’s rule prevail. When we advocate for justice, God is there, When we do the work for caring for the poor God’s resources are available, When we do the work of reconciliation God can orchestrate times of healing. When we participate in the activities of transformation, God is there with others to join the fight.
We are a nation within what ever nation we are in. It is an occupy movement for God.
The events this day turn. The recognition of Jesus as sovereign will lead to an arrest trial and death.
The crowds will turn and trade shouts of acclamation for shouts of condemnation.
Our hope will take a turn to despair as Jesus hangs on the cross and dies. God’s ways can be a mystery to us, but we have learned that God always has our best interest in mind and although we don’t understand, that God will bring about a result for our good that is beyond what we could imagine. There is more come, Jesus will be a different kind of sovereign over us.
There is a windsurfer who when he launched from the beach always went left, on this one occasion he had the inclination for no reason to launch from the right. Once he was out on the water he noticed another wind surfer who's mast was broken and he helped him in to the shore. This is part of being under the rule of God.
We tell the story of a faithful church who raised $41,000 for an organ without an organist, but just as the commitment is made to install the organ, a organist send a resume.
We all have these stories of God’s orchestration of events, of chance meetings, and of how when we follow God of things some how working out just by being under the rule of God.