Worship at Gloria Dei Saturdays 5:00pm, Sundays 9:00am and 10:30am

Palm Sunday

Hello Gloria Dei,

This weekend begins Holy Week. Three years ago some of us from Gloria Dei were in the Holy Land. One of the highlights of our trip, among many, was to walk from the top of the Mount of Olives into the Old City of Jerusalem on what is commonly called “The Palm Sunday Road”. We were able to walk where Jesus walked.

Some 2000 years ago, as Jesus walked the road, people were lining the streets, waving their palm branches and hailing him as their king. “Hosanna to the Son of David”, they shouted in celebration. Hosanna is a word used to express praise and joy. It also can mean “God Save Us.”

Many years before Jesus, David was the greatest of all the kings of Israel. The people in Jesus’ day were celebrating because they saw in Jesus a new king who would be like David and put the nation of Israel back on top of the political world, with military strength and might. They were looking for a leader who would save them from Roman occupation.

Yet just a few days later, their shouts of “Hosanna” turned drastically into shouts of “Crucify Him”. Jesus was and is a king. It’s just that Jesus’ kingdom looks radically different than the kingdoms we are used to in this world. Rather than ruling with brute force, Jesus rules with love, grace, forgiveness, and compassion. Instead of calling down revenge on our enemies, Jesus calls us to pray for them. Maybe it is no wonder that the crowds, back then and today, have a hard time with this kind of king.

Yet we know, if we are honest with ourselves, that we long for a world filled with the attributes of Jesus and his Kingdom. Are not the things of love, grace, forgiveness, and compassion what you want for your family? Are not these the attributes you want for yourself? Jesus gives us a mandate on Maundy Thursday to “Love one another as I have loved you.” It is a high calling to be enlisted into Jesus’ kingdom. Yet it is a gift given to us by grace, through the cross. In the gospel of John, Jesus’ true glory is when he is hanging on the cross, giving of himself fully, in order that others will have life in his name.

This week, ponder the road Jesus walked for you. Ponder the sacrifice made on your behalf and mine. Ponder the amazing grace of God which brings to all of us forgiveness and new life. And give thanks.

I invite you to see the Holy Week schedule:
  • Palm Sunday – April 10, 9am and 10:30am (Saturday April 9, 5pm)
  • Maundy Thursday – April 14, 6pm and 7:30pm  
  • Good Friday – April 15, 6pm  
  • Easter – Saturday, April 16, 5pm; Sunday, April 17, 7:30am, 8:30am, 9:40am, 10:50am
    (nursery staffed 8:30am and 9:40am, livestream at 9:40am)

In preparation for Palm Sunday weekend worship, please read John 12:1-26. “Hosanna. Praise God. Lord Save Us!” Jesus is, indeed, our savior. See you in worship.

Pastor Tim
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