The sermon today reflected on Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey. Matthew 21
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord needs them,' and he will send them at once."
This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,
"Say to the daughter of Zion,
'Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,on a colt,
the foal of a beast of burden. '"
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them.
Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!" And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?" And the crowds said,
"This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee."
Brian reflected on how when Tony Blair came to power as Prime Minister there was almost a mass hysteria in the Labour party thinking that all these hopes and dreams were now being realised. The same sort of mass hysteria followed the election of the first black president Barack Obama - But were all these dreams these leaders had realised?
The same type of hysteria was noticed when Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey as they thought Jesus was going to be a great political leader and save the Jews from their oppressors.
Jesus quickly reminded everyone that he came to free everyone.
Those same people that were cheering him on Palm Sunday were calling for him to be crucified at the end of the week. The people had hopes and dreams.
In Luke's account of the entry he adds a couple of verses.
Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord:peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
So In the first part of the service we used stones to help us focus on our prayer intentions, and as we placed the stones in an offering plate we gave our hopes and dreams into God's hands.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2nd half - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - --
In the second half we focussed on Jesus in the garden of Gethsemene praying to his Father and asking his disciples to be with him, and the disciples finding it tiring and falling alseep.
Jesus also asks us to be with him and to follow him from palm to passion.
We were given cutout hands with hopeful passages written on them and we cast our worries and prayers at the foot of the cross.
Cast your worries onto the cross and offer your hopes and prayers up to God.