March 24, 2002 - Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11

When they neared Jerusalem, having arrived at Bethphage on Mount Olives, Jesus sent two disciples with these instructions: "Go over to the village across from you. You'll find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you're doing, say, 'The Master needs them!' He will send them with you."

This is the full story of what was sketched earlier by the prophet:
     "Tell Zion's daughter,
     'Look, your king's on his way,
          poised and ready, mounted
     On a donkey, on a colt,
          foal of a pack animal.'"

The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted. Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, "Hosanna to David's son!" "Blessed is he who comes in God's name!" "Hosanna in highest heaven!"

As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, People were asking, "What's going on here? Who is this?"

The parade crowd answered, "This is the prophet Jesus, the one from Nazareth in Galilee."

<The Message >


1. Hmm, people were asking about the hubbub. What questions are the people asking about the church these days? Is it not more a question of not asking anything until someone asks about the church and the response is, "Church? Oh, I'd forgotten. Is there anything real happening there anymore?"

2. The ethos of the day is primarily to divorce the church from being different from the culture. In the United Methodist Church the Institute on Religion and Democracy/Renew, Good News, and Confessing Movement web is trying to silence the hubbub of confrontation between Jesus and the religious and political institutions. They would not welcome him, but ask that he silence his followers for the good of the nation. These kinds of fundamentalistic, literalistic, and creedal-enforcing organizations are in several denominations.

3. How comfortable are you with hubbub that is not controllable by established institutions? Can you join in by doing your part - getting the donkey or offering your resources or adding your voice? This is the announcement of revolution, the outcome of which cannot be predicted (as the next week will show). Are you a revolutionary in at least one part of the church? If not, can you be in this Palm Sunday hubbub?

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