Sunday, March 24, 2013

Palm Sunday

snow carI don't recall ever before being confined to the house by snow on Palm Sunday.

Our own church service was cancelled because of the dangerous conditions on roads around the school where we meet.

It opened up to me the rare opportunity of going to another local church and being able to engage in worship without the usual responsibilities.

Normally I'm the one sitting at the computer and amplifier making sure there are music and words for people to sing. When I'm not doing that it is usually because I am preaching.

So I was looking forward to being able to concentrate on nothing but the Lord for a change. However, the car was not co-operating. The brakes were frozen and it wasn't going anywhere. It was too late to walk.

Suddenly I found myself in tears. I hadn't realised how desperate I was to engage in corporate worship.

Rejoice Greatly!
Palm SundayIt was very different for the crowds on that first Palm Sunday.

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Matt 21:8-9

In those days if someone started a religious chant everyone joined in. It would have been considered impious not to.

So everyone was having a great time shouting the praises of Jesus whom they believed was coming into Jerusalem to set the nation free from their subservience to Rome.

The prophet Zechariah had declared,

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! 
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! 
See, your king comes to you, 
righteous and victorious, 
lowly and riding on a donkey, 
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zech 9:9

The symbolism of what Jesus was doing was unmistakable and the people were making such a furore the authorities were extremely upset.

But Jesus did nothing to disabuse the people of their notion that He was the Messiah. He simply accepted the attribution along with their praise.

This occasion is one of those instances that disprove the idea of some that Jesus was simply a good moral teacher.

Jesus caused controversy wherever He went. People loved Him or hated Him and those who loved Him ended up worshiping Him.

Rejoice Always!
asian house churchIt is the same today. I was prevented from going to worship this morning by the snow.

But many of our brothers and sisters live in circumstances where they put themselves in danger of persecution, imprisonment or even death by meeting together for worship.

Yet they continue to get together in secret locations to whisper their praises to the Lord.

So why should a few inches of snow prevent any of us going to church?    

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