Call to Worship (based on Psalm 118):
L: The Lord is my strength and my power!
P: The Lord has become my salvation!
L: There are joyous songs of victory in the tents of the righteous
P: The stone which the builders rejected has become the
All: this is the day which the Lord has made, let us rejoice
and be glad in it!
Palm Sunday Sermons:
The World Greets its Savior
by Rev. Frank Schaefer
Can you imagine what it was like for Jesus entering
into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey? Suddenly, spontaneously, people started to
rip palm branches of the trees and shouted “Hosanna,” placing their coats in
front of the donkey so that Jesus would ride into Jerusalme like a king.
He was greeted like a king even though he came so
humbly riding in on a donkey and this, to me, is the moment, the one time, when
the world acknowledged Jesus for who he was--the Messiah, the son of David. An
astounding statement was made by humanity which acknowledges Jesus as God’s
Savior of the world. They shouted praises to God, giving thanks for Jesus.
This is the only moment in which Jesus was ever
treated that way by the world. Granted it was in Jerusalem and it was a
particular ethnic and religious crowd, but people came to the Passover Feast
from all over the world. This crowd was made up of people from many different
countries and languages and backgrounds. They came to Jerusalem as pilgrims and
so this event can be argued to be the moment when the world greeted their
And think about it: it’s really the only one
because just three days later the crowd shouted “crucify, crucify him.” A
turnaround of events that leaves you scratching your head. Even after Jesus’
resurrection, he only appeared to a few of his followers.
So this is the moment in which Jesus was
acknowledged by the world so much so that people who were by-standers said:
“what is going on here?” The parade crowd answered: “this is the Prophet Jesus,
the one from Nazareth in Galilee.”
God made it very clear to us in the Scriptures,
such as in John 3:16 ( and we all know and love this passage, right?) “for God
so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall
not perish but have eternal life.”
It's so clear that God did this out of love for us; God sent His only Son out of love and deep care for us. God could have said:
“okay this is it! Humanity messed up, I'm sending another flood.” But God did
not do that. God could have drawn a line in the sand and said: “this is it!” but
instead God was even willing to cross that line in a very, very personal way in
order to reconcile us to Godself. I believe with all my heart that God will
reconcile every single person on this earth to Godself.
Sadly, theologians through the ages have been very quick in
putting limits on God's grace; they have been quick to say that God’s grace is
not for everybody....
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