for Sunday, March 24, 2013
lectionary focus: Luke 19:28-40
Note: If you have not been using our Lenten Series, you can easily modify the references to make this a stand-alone sermon.
Today is Palm Sunday!
Today we celebrate Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem. We wave palm branches as they did long ago in ancient times as a sign of home and safety. But my favorite part of the parade, my favorite part of the story is the “colt.” Jesus riding the young horse reminds me of Mary riding the donkey in the story of Jesus’ birth. In all the other stories, Jesus walks or is in a boat–but today He rides a colt. And when He sends the disciples to a friend’s to get the colt, He tells them that if anyone asks why they are getting the colt, “Tell them the Lord needs it.”
We are almost to the end of the Season of Lent. Now we enter Holy Week as we prepare for the Joy and Mystery of Easter next Sunday. During the Sundays of Lent, we have been discussing prayer as a way to be close to God. Prayer is how we talk to God. We talk to God about things that make us happy, things that scare us, things we need, and things our friends need…but prayer is not a list of things we want; prayer is not directions we give to God. And today’s story of Jesus riding the colt reminds us of this. No matter what happens, no matter why we pray, God has a plan. Just as God had a plan and a need for the young horse, God has a plan and needs each of us. And whenever we pray, we tell God that we know this. Jesus taught us to pray to God saying, “Thy will be done.” This means we will do what God needs us to do. We pray and share our thoughts and feelings but we also express our faith that God has a plan for us, a purpose for us, and we trust God.
Holy Week is difficult as we remember the end of Jesus’s life on earth. We start by waving palm branches and then we walk through the dark stories of the Passion and the Crucifixion. But through all of this, we know that God has a plan. And next Sunday, we will rejoice that God’s plan as seen in the death and resurrection of Jesus includes loving each of us now and always.
Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)
Today we remember the parade
and we wave palm branches
and we think about the colt.
to continue to pray
sharing our thoughts and feelings
We have faith
in Your plan
We are not Christians alone.
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.