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.
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.
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)
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)
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.