Sunday, 13 April 2014

Can't Make it to Church? Apr 13

Today is Palm Sunday - the day when we remember Jesus' 'Triumphant Entry' into Jerusalem. Here's Matthew's account (chapter 21, verses 1-11):

When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead 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, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ 

This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,

‘Tell the daughter of Zion, look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
 Hosanna in the highest heaven!

When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’
The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’

How sad that the many of the voices that cried out and praised God as Jesus entered Jerusalem will be amongst the voices that cry out for Him to be crucified. Those who praised God will be proclaiming the God-King, Caesar, as their king!

For many who find themselves troubled by, and separated from, friends and family the scene is familiar. Those who once spoke words of love, praise and encouragement are distant and form part of the crowd who point the finger, mock and wound with their words, actions and lifestyle.

But in today's events there is hope, for Jesus had to come to this place to fulfil the many prophecies made regarding Him. This is the launchpad for Him to become Isaiah's suffering servant and in His rejection we can find healing and reconciliation for our rejection.

People will leave church today with a palm cross as a reminder of this day - I wonder how many know that at the beginning of our Lenten period, on Ash Wednesday, the ash we use comes from burnt palm crosses? The symbolism and practical acts combine to remind us that all our triumphs will turn to ash and all the things we treasure and value are destined to be passed on to someone else (or thrown in the bin). So the message is clear:

Don't struggle to hang on to the things of this world. Don't get so bound up in possessions that they possess you, for they will not only do that but will outlive you too!

Place your values in the right place and where there are broken relationships - seek to restore them.

Where you have offended or wounded people - get out there and say sorry and be reconciled.

Where there is disappointment and despair - look to the indwelling of God and the company of His people to reconcile you to the God of love and His people.

True and humble king, hailed by the crowd as Messiah:
grant us the faith to know you and love you,
that we may be found beside you on the way of the cross,
which is the path of glory. Amen.

Man on a  donkey

More noise
Crowds call out His name
Clamour to meet His eyes with theirs
To press the flesh and get a blessing
For today Jerusalem has talent
But give him five short days
They'll be denying they were ever here
They'll be standing with the same people

Man on a Cross

If you have some time have a listen to this: It is long, but this is how J S Bach had today in his mind:

And if you can't make it to church and would like a Palm Cross - you can find my email address on the St Francis like on this blog - or if local, contact me and I'll sort it for you if possible.


Anonymous said...

Always noting that, if you do say sorry and seek to be reconciled and are refused by the other person, you are not condemned.

Vic Van Den Bergh said...


Noted :-0

Anonymous said...

Thx - nor hopefully are they.

Anonymous said...

I see that you've deleted my subsequent entry. Thank you, it was unedifying.

I also see that you've had someone
else posting on here. Perhaps they asked you to delete my entry, having given you their side of the story. Or perhaps it's someone with the same monniker and I'm paranoid.

Perhaps you appreciate my real
concern: maybe they're right to exercise the power of the keys against me, because maybe I'm reprobate.

In any event, please pardon my posting on your website and
delete all my entries.

Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Don't recall deleting any message from here. If I do I usually post a comment and a reason and so am a little confused at your post.

Looking at the thread, I can remember someone writing about reconciliation and the actions of someone (a minister) somewhere - was this you and if so I don't know why it's gone as I agreed with the points made. Are you sure it was this rentry you posted a comment to?

Anyhow - sorry if this is the right place - best to use a name (initial, whatever - it doesn't have to be your proper name) so there's a sort of audit trail.

Would you like to post it again?



Vic Van Den Bergh said...

Have to add that if anyone asks me to delete something, I post that that has been the case and delete both (and ask them to post again)

Anonymous said...

Hi Vic,

Sorry for all this. You've been very helpful and I should talk to God not you about it!

Your post today was very good, especially about us really being able to choose not to be choked by sin and the cares of the world.

I've read it is hard for Aspies to be Christians because it is hard for them to relate to the invisible God and they are liable to despair if one of His visible representatives doesn't meet the standards which they proclaim, which they expect them to do, because they can literally only think in black and white terms.

I suppose I wanted reconciliation with that person to prove to me that God cared about me. They would have been right to refuse it, if they thought that was the case, because people can only receive such assurance from God.

Anyway , I have it now, as today God saved us from an overtaking Jaguar driving towards us on our side of an A road and swerving away from our bonnet in the last couple of seconds at 90-100 mph.
If we had not braked ourselves, we would undoubtedly have died.

So He has given me yet another chance to live for Him. I want to do that, but never seem to be able to do so, for even a day, as far as I can see.

Please disregard my last email on here and feel free to delete it if you like as it's really gibberish of no use to anyone.

I've been pursuing anonymity to spare the other person.

God bless you,

SC (real initials)