Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)
Holy Week is right on our doorstep - a week in which we follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ in a special way. We remember together this Palm Sunday, his entry to Jerusalem on that unassuming donkey to the wave of palm branches; on Thursday, his last commands to his disciples in the upper room - "love one another as I have loved you!"; on Friday, his suffering under Pontius Pilate, his crucifixion, death, burial, and descent into hell; and finally, gloriously, on Easter Sunday, his resurrection.
In that fateful week upon which all of history turns, Jesus Christ collects the keys to death, defeats forever our sin, and sentences the devil and evil to demise. All of our enemies' days are numbered. His Kingdom of new life breaks into our world in a triumphant way, assuring us that all of this will be made right. Here is where all of our hope is found!
Holy Week takes on a powerful importance for us now in this time. And not just because it provides our hope out of this time - but because it also speaks to us right in this time. Pain, fear, isolation, and death seem like they are everywhere. Perhaps you find yourself asking biblical questions like "How long, O Lord?" or "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" If you find yourself there, Jesus walks in and sits with you in this place. You aren't alone. God isn't repulsed by you or your situation or your emotions. He, the Lord of the universe, intimately understands these feelings and these questions, because he himself has lived them, especially in that Holiest of Weeks. Jesus went all the way to the darkest depths, and know you know he is more than able to meet you wherever you are, even in the darkest places of your life. You may ache, you may hurt, you may cry - it's OK. Jesus has been there, too, and he is there beside you now.
This is Good News for all of us. Because of this week, because of what Jesus chose to do for us, we have hope for a glorious future, and at the very same time, we can sit in whatever emotions we have, because we aren't alone even now. Jesus is with you, Jesus loves you, and Jesus is working for your good. He clings to you, even now, pouring his Spirit upon you, daily and richly forgiving your sins, and filling you with his new life. Rest in him. Rest in his presence. It will all be OK even if it is very not-OK right now. Your God reigns.
Palm Sunday quickly approaches, and with it Holy Week. It will be different this year, no doubt. We will miss many of our normal traditions. And yet, Jesus still stands victorious for you and for me - a victory no disease, no distance, no change in plans can ever take from us.
With that, comes an announcement for Palm Sunday: make sure, somehow and someway, to grab your own greenery for Sunday. Go outside and find a branch and bring it inside for worship. It's OK if it doesn't have leaves. Or follow these directions and make your own beautiful palm frond craft. Or draw a palm frond on a piece of paper. Or glue a green paper cut to look like a leaf to Popsicle sticks. Or find a picture of a palm frond on Google and get it ready to wave at your webcam. Or get creative and get a branch in some other way (anybody else still have their Christmas garland handy?!). Whatever you do, make sure you have a branch to wave with you during worship Sunday morning. A little bit of distance won't stop us from waving our branches and singing "Hosanna! Save us!" to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
I pray you are all doing well and are finding peace in the Lord that surpasses understanding. Reach out to me if you need to talk. Reach out to each other. If you have any needs we can help meet or if you know of any way that we can serve alongside of you in your neighborhoods, please do not hesitate to let us know. My prayers and love are with you all.
Jesus is here among us and he will save us - your donkey-riding king wins!
See you Sunday,
Harrison Parker, Pastor
On that day, YHWH their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land. (Zechariah 9:16)
All events on Zoom unless otherwise noted.
Palm Sunday, 4/5 - 9 AM Bible study, 10:15 AM, Palm Sunday service - bring some branches!
Tuesday, 4/7 - 7 AM, Men's Bible study
Wednesday, 4/8 - 10 AM, Women's Bible study
Maundy Thursday, 4/9 - 7 PM, Maundy Thursday service
Good Friday, 4/10 - 7 PM, Good Friday service
Easter Sunday, 4/11 - 10:15 AM, Easter service
Living Water Zoom
Click here to join a Zoom meeting, meeting ID 572-129-9143