Reflections and Prayers Palm Sunday - 28th March
This week's readings can be found here Mark 11.1-11
Reflection Sunday 28th March - Palm Sunday
Jesus is standing on the Mount of Olives which overlooks Jerusalem, he can see the city of Jerusalem and probably can see all the travellers making their way to celebrate the Passover. The population of Jerusalem more than doubled during the Passover. People were hoping that something good would happen during this time. God, this time would actually do something special, but one day they think something good is going to happen and the next they are persuaded that it was all a ruse, and they were being conned into believing that this Jesus was something special. It is also the time in the gospel of Mark that Jesus decides to go public and that people should know who he is and what all his ministry has been about.
Jesus sends two of his disciples to get him a colt, a young donkey. Why a colt, a young donkey?
Well, we can look at it in a number of ways, one, it fulfils what it said in the Old Testament (See Zechariah 9.9).
But also, we see that the donkey was tied up, it needed to be released, to be set free. Is that not like us and that we need to be set free, to be released from our worldly chains in order to be able to worship God.
And when it was returned to its master it had changed, Jesus had ridden the donkey that had not been ridden before, it was now broken in. It would have a new start, probably a better and more fruitful life with its owner. For us, when we are broken and down at rock bottom, Jesus is there to pick us up and give us a new start, a new life and home in heaven.
What about the people in the crowd that day? I am sure that there would be many that knew Jesus, had heard his teaching, had been healed themselves or witnessed someone else being healed. They knew that he was special and so wanted to praise him and worship him. However, there were many who didn’t believe and were upset and felt threatened about what happened that day.
I wonder what Jesus would think for our villages if there was a Mount of Olives around here, where Jesus could look down on us. Would there be people that have heard what Jesus said in the Bible and believed and want to praise and worship him? Would there be people who don’t believe and feel threatened by what Jesus says and what church and believing in God would mean to them? There would, I am sure, be a number of people who would follow the crowd, with the idea that maybe there is someone good going on over there, could be a party, lets join. But, then find out a bit more about what is going on, so back off, and they turn away.
As a country we will soon start to see the return to some kind of normality, and hopefully next week some of us will be able to worship in an actual church, so we will need to think about what kind of person are we. “Church” has been so different in the last year, some people have enjoyed online church, others have hated it. Some people have found time to learn more about God, some have dropped away, some are not sure and want to wait and see before they do anything different.
We might not be able to sing worship songs yet in church, but we can in our homes and on our walks, so sing aloud. Praise God and shout out but remember to be two meters apart as you do!
Now to the gate of my Jerusalem, The seething holy city of my heart, The saviour comes. But will I welcome him? Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start; They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing, And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find The challenge, the reversal he is bringing Changes their tune. I know what lies behind The surface flourish that so quickly fades; Self-interest, and fearful guardedness, The hardness of the heart, its barricades, And at the core, the dreadful emptiness Of a perverted temple. Jesus come
Break my resistance and make me your home.
A locked church
by Alan Amos
Ah my dear Lord, the church is locked but let my heart be open to your presence; there let us make, you and I, your Easter garden; plant it with flowers, and let the heavy stone be rolled away.
To Pray for
We pray for hope and new beginnings, with Spring in the air and lockdown easing a little more, give us strength as we begin a new chapter again. Keep us safe.
Thanks to all our NHS staff as the pressure on them begins to relent.
Togetherness during Holy Week