March 31, 2009

Looking Forward to April 5, 2009 -- Palm Sunday

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • Psalm 118:19-29 (VU p.837 Parts 3 & 4)
  • From the Gospel: Mark 11:1-11
The Hymns this week are:
  • 122 All Glory Laud and Honour
  • 123 Hosanna Loud Hosanna
  • 127 Ride On, Ride On in Majesty
  • 424 May the God of Hope Go with Us
The Sermon Title is Is THIS How a King Comes?

Early Thoughts: No white charger, just a humble donkey. No flashing armour, just homespun robes and cloaks. No brassy trumpets, just the voices of friends and supporters. No real regalia at all. What's wrong with this picture??

In the minds of most people over the centuries, NO, this is NOT how a king comes. A Royal arrival is full of pomp and ceremony. Even our ceremonial opening of Parliament, with the official arrival of the vice-regal party is a dull shadow of the glorious pageantry traditionally associated with the arrival of a monarch.

Instead we have a plain man in plain dress riding a borrowed donkey. All the signs of royal power are missing. Well almost all the signs. There are still the adoring crowds. There is still the proclamation that the king is coming. And maybe that is part of the reason for what follows.

You see the entry into JErusalem is the entry of the anti-king. Jesus proclaims a knigdom that stands the norms of empire on their head. The power in the story is precisely that this is NOT how a king is expected to arrive. The expectations of many (botht the powerful and the powerless) need to be challenged and shattered for God's kingdom to become a reality.

Is this how a king comes? Only if we redefine the term king.

PS: Don't forget the rest of our Holy Week Worship events:
  • Good Friday Walk on April 10. Starts at the Atikokan Community Fellowship (on Front Street) at 10:30
  • Good Friday Worship at 7:00 that evening
  • Easter Celebration April 12 at 10:30. We will share the communion meal during the service and then have a finger food potluck lunch following the service. Come break bread with us!

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