Humility and trust

Palm Sunday (March 24, 2013)
Common Lectionary Readings:
Ps. 118:1-2, 19-29; Ps. 31:9-16; Is. 50:4-9; Phil 2:5-11; Lk. 19:28-40; Lk. 23:1-49

We enjoyed a week of vacation, traveling in Palestine-Israel with friends from the United States. Duane and Elaine Maust are pastors at Jubilee Mennonite Church in Meridian, Mississippi and Karl and Marlene Bernhard lead Amor Viviente Church in New Orleans.

We learned about the current realities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and read Scripture at the sites of many biblical stories.

Christians from around the world sang hymns in their own language during the walk

Christians from around the world sang hymns in their own language during the walk, which was led by Palestinian Christians

Our trip culminated by participating in the Palm Sunday walk with thousands of Christians who traced the first Palm Sunday path of Jesus from Bethphage and Bethany to Jerusalem via the Mount of Olives and Gethsemane.

(l to r): Elaine, Cindy, Marlene, Karl and Duane at the synagogue in Capernaum

(l to r): Elaine, Cindy, Marlene, Karl and Duane at the synagogue in Capernaum

The Lectionary readings for this Palm Sunday week focus on humility and trust.

Faced with the threats of his enemies the psalmist declares, “But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hand.” (Ps. 31:14-15)

Similarly, the prophet Isaiah writes, “I did not hide my face from insult and spitting . . . The Lord helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced.” (Is. 50:6-7)

Our taxi driver from Takoa gave us a tour of Bethlehem and Hebron, then took us to his home for lunch, where we met his two nieces

Our taxi driver from Takoa gave us a tour of Bethlehem and Hebron, then took us to his home for lunch, where we met his two nieces

In the Epistle reading, Paul describes the example of Jesus. “He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross.” (Phil. 2:8)

In the Gospel readings, Jesus rides a donkey into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday (Lk. 19:28-40) and at the time of his crucifixion utters, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” (Lk. 23:16)

The "Wailing" or Western wall in Jerusalem

The “Wailing” or Western wall in Jerusalem

Humility is the willingness to set aside our power and privilege and to be obedient to God no matter the cost. Trust means surrendering the outcome to God.

The Palm Sunday crowd streams down the Mt. of Olives

The Palm Sunday crowd streams down the Mt. of Olives

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