We are so glad you decided to join us today!
When we meet in person, we share our joys and concerns together. Take some time to consider any prayer requests you have from the past week. If you have any you would like to share, you can add them as comments to this post. When you are ready, use this prayer (source) to get started.
I bow to the sacred in all creation.
May my sprit fill the world with beauty and wonder.
May my mind seek truth with humility and openness.
May my heart forgive without limit.
May my love for friend, enemy, and outcast be without measure.
May my needs be few and my living simple.
May my actions bear witness to the suffering of others.
May my hands never harm a living being.
May my steps stay on the journey of justice.
May my tongue speak for those who are poor without fear of the powerful.
May my prayers rise with patient discontent until no child is hungry.
May my life's work be a passion for peace and nonviolence.
May my soul rejoice in the present moment.
May my imagination overcome death and despair with new possibility.
And may I risk reputation, comfort, and security to bring this hope to the children.
Today's lesson is on Matthew 21:1-11.
The proof of Jesus’ identity is clear to us because we have all the evidence of history at our disposal. To his disciples and the crowds, however, the mystery was intact: Who was Jesus? What was he going to do in Jerusalem? The triumphal entry was one twist in the plot on his way to the cross. The final week of Jesus’ life changed the world forever.
The idea of Jesus dying was completely foreign to what Peter and the other disciples understood Jesus’ mission to be.
Prophets of old were given a glimpse of God’s plan. Jesus fulfilled that plan. Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The Gospel of John is more explicit. The crowd hailed Jesus as “king of Israel” the people clearly anticipated great things from a king who comes in the name of the Lord. They did not know how Jesus’ kingship would be different from kings that they knew. Then as now, Jesus can truly be known only when we accept the truth that he was crucified, died and then rose from the grave. In 1 Corinthians 1:22-25 Paul tells us: “Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. (is given) For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength."
Just as the city of Jerusalem ask “Who is this?” each of us must answer that question. Following Jesus is not just the right thing to do. It is the joyful thing to do. We will experience great happiness, but sorrow, pain, betrayal, and loss will still happen to us as they did Jesus, because we live in a broken world married by sin. Growing in our knowledge of Jesus and our relationship with him helps us choose too follow his lead every day. May we celebrate Jesus i all circumstances and follow him, even to death.
Thought to Remember
Hosanna in the highest!
Jesus has come.
Dear Lord, thank you for sending Jesus, your Son, to save us from our sins. May we always praise him. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
Today's benediction is from the Scottish Psalter.
Next week's lesson will be on Matthew 26:17-30.
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We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.