March 26, 2007

Looking Forward to April 1, 2007 -- Palm/Passion Sunday

The Scripture Readings for this week are:
  • Palm Parade: Luke 19:28-40
  • Psalm 31:9-16 (VU p.758 Parts 2 & 3)
  • From the Gospel: John 18:1-40

The Hymns will be:

  • #123 Hosanna, Loud Hosanna
  • #357 Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
  • #183 We Meet You, O Christ (tune #235)
  • #127 Ride On! Ride On in Majesty (tune #20)

The Sermon title is Mob Politics – Who’s the Fool now??

Early Thoughts: This is a day of contrasts. From crowds praising to crowds cursing. From triumph to defeat. From hope into despair. And, in the end, from life into death.

It is one of the most incomprehensible parts of the story. How did the crowd turn so quickly from praise to condemnation? Sunday they are lining the streets in honour, Thursday they turn into nothing less than a mob out for blood. Are people really so fickle?

Actually mob mentality can be quite volatile. Crowds of people can be easily swayed by a powerful speaker or charismatic individual (which really explains both Sunday and Thursday). And then there is a snowball effect as people tend to follow along with the rest.

This Sunday we explore those two crowds -- which one is the mob would depend on your point of view. And being April Fool's day we ask who the fool is in the story. IS it the crowd, so easily swayed? Is it the high priest's and temple leadership, thinking they have ended this troublesome movement? Is it Pilate, dragged along with the threat of a riot? Is it Judas, thinking that betrayal would lead to a different end? Is it Jesus, trapped into a path that leads only to a cross on a hill?

The mob can be a potent weapon, as many trouble-spots around the world and through the centuries can attest. But it can turn quickly. Join us as we look at the story of two crowds, or are they mobs?

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