Thought for the week

Well the USA journey is done. I hope I am saying it is GREAT to be HOME (this was written before my actual flights back).

Saturday is back to proper football and seeing faces and hearing voices I know and love.

I’m really partial to my family. I wonder how Jesus felt on that day 2000 years ago in his homecoming to Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday.

Oh the joys of the shouts of hosanna as the people are celebrating his coming into the city as the King. For this week look to the Liturgy of the Palms as my scripture texts. I point you to Psalm 118:1-2 and 19-29 and Matthew 21:1-11 for the full text.

The Psalm is to remind us to be thankful for the mercy of God. As we conclude the Lenten Season and have in principle prepared ourselves for the celebration of Easter, we must not forget that it truly is God’s mercy in offering Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins on the Cross that we will look toward in the coming Holy Week.

We will have services in our churches throughout the week to help us in our final preparations of celebrating Easter. We will all need to point to the cross as the place the debt of sin was paid for you and me to have forgiveness and redemption.

But on this Palm Sunday leading to the week of Passion we need to recognize that mercy is not what we deserve but are offered as a gift. And the Psalmist says: “His mercy endures forever,” not just in that time and place so long ago but into our world today.

Verses in the second section of the Psalm reading point to salvation and the need to be thankful in praise for what we are offered. Verse 25 then uses the phrase: “save now, I pray, O Lord”.

So many years later we should, along with the people of Jerusalem, echo those words as we say ‘Hosanna’- save now. The people of that day were, I fear, the same mindset as we are today in wanting relief from the physical challenges and afflictions of the day. We want prosperity and the appearance of blessing yet it should go beyond this.

Matthew 21 verses 10-11 says: “And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes replied, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”

This gives us a glimpse into the day as the who people had cried out; “Hosanna to the Son of David!” We need to recognize that though knowing who He was they really didn’t understand what it was that He was there to do. Even as they cried ‘save us’, they asked ‘Who is this guy?’ Though some understood Jesus was a prophet, they still didn’t recognize Him as Saviour.

I suspect too often still in our world we can hear the question of ‘Who is this Jesus?’ Can we answer that question in our world. Is he just a prophet or do we know the work of Calvary in our lives? Will you bring your questions to a service in the coming week and see if you also can join the celebration of the Gospel, the good news of Jesus.

I pray as we visit together throughout Holy Week that we will not just know Him as a good guy but also know the salvation and forgiveness offered in mercy toward us.

Come join us with a Hosannas in your heart.