Sunday Reflections: Matthew 21:1-11

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion,
    ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 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!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

 

Sunday Reflection: Matthew 21:1-11

Hello everyone.

Well today is Palm Sunday and I must admit it feels very strange to not be at Church receiving and getting my Palm cross blessed. This will be the first year I think that I will have ever missed the Palm Sunday service. As an organist I always love choosing the hymns for this Sunday because I just love the Palm Sunday hymns out there. Ride on Ride in Majesty! Make way Make Way etc. Think I will go and play them later anyway on the practice organ upstairs.

So my little reflection or thoughts today are on Matthew 21: 1-11, Jesus Comes to Jerusalem.

I love this passage but I will be honest it is probably because of the memories it always brings up. At first school we acted this story out several times, our headmistress would get us to grab our coats and lay them along the floor whilst one of us would be Jesus and someone else the donkey who would also be wearing donkey mask and ears. As they walked along the coats we would all shout “Hosanna” at the top our lungs. It was great fun and afterwards we would get our Palm crosses.

The story of Jesus entering Jerusalem is where Jesus fulfils the prophets, in Zechariah 9:9 Jesus’ arrival is foretold. But his arrival is not the arrival a King would normally have, normally it would all be pomp and circumstance but not Jesus. Jesus comes to Jerusalem riding a Donkey and no saddle sits on the donkey just the cloaks the disciples place there. Then when Jesus enters Jerusalem, the people put their cloaks on the ground for the donkey to walk on or if they did not have cloaks they cut palms down and lay them down. Some of these people probably had barely any clothes and might have only one cloak but they still laid it on the ground. They gave the very clothes on their backs for a donkey carrying Jesus to walk on. We also must not treat our possessions too dear to part with for the work of Jesus, as we are all guilty of being too attached to our possessions.

The other thing that comes to my mind is how fickle the crowd is, today they are rejoicing and shouting ‘Hosanna’ for Jesus and in a few days’ time their cries change to ‘Crucify Him!’. This fickleness we all have in our hearts in my opinion, because we have all changed our opinions or course of action to follow the crowd, friends, family and sometimes we know in our hearts that this isn’t right but we still go ahead with this change. As humans we find it easier to go with the tide than against but if in our hearts we know this is wrong then we need the strength to push against.

Finally, my thoughts are with the donkey and not just because they are one of my favourite animals. I think this donkey is amazing and has the bravery of a police horse. This donkey does not bat an eyelid, people are shouting all around and throwing cloaks on the ground but this donkey stands firmly on track and gets Jesus safely to his destination. I think we should all try to be a little bit more donkey, that when times are tough and the world is going mad around us, we keep our heads down and plod forward and let out a loud Eeyore if someone gets in our way.

Thank you and a Happy Palm Sunday to you all.

 

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Sunday Reflections: Psalm 130

Hello everyone!

It is time for my second Sunday reflection, I must admit I almost forgot that it was a Sunday, all the days are blending into one at the moment.

Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;

 Lord, hear my voice.

Let your ears be attentive

to my cry for mercy.

If you, Lord, kept a record of sins,

Lord, who could stand?

But with you there is forgiveness,

so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

and in his word I put my hope.

I wait for the Lord

more than watchmen wait for the morning,

more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord,

for with the Lord is unfailing love

and with him is full redemption.

He himself will redeem Israel

from all their sins.

 

So for this Sunday’s reflection I have chosen the Psalm for the day. The reason I have done this is because from an early age I have always struggled with the psalms and because of this I have avoided them. But no longer will I ignore them, I am determined to read more psalms and think more about them.

Psalm 130 is one of the repentance psalms which are quite often read during Lent. However, with the world in its current crisis with the Coronavirus I find that the first couple of verses we could all be praying each day, desperately wanting God’s help with this awful virus that is claiming so many lives.

The psalm is about our sin and how we are waiting for God. The psalm begins with the psalmist crying out to the Lord from the depths. When we think of depths we think of a hole or deep in the ocean but the psalmist is deep in troubles, they find themselves surrounded by trouble with no way out, so they cry to the Lord.

These troubles that are surrounding the psalmist are in my opinion the sins that they have committed and they are crying out for God’s forgiveness because by admitting our sins and asking for forgiveness we gain God’s forgiveness so we can continue working for the Lord.

The psalm then moves onto waiting and whilst waiting putting our trust in the Lord’s word. So whilst we wait for the Lord what better to do than read our Bibles? Reading our Bibles and taking in the Lord’s word and trusting the Lord’s word so it helps us continue on our path to God.

I really love the part in this psalm where the psalmist associates waiting for the Lord like waiting for the morning. We all have those times where we want the night to be over and for the morning to appear, to see and feel the sun on our faces and to see the beauty of a new morning. This for me is how I like to think of our time with the Lord, to feel the peace and beauty of being in his presence.

The psalm ends with telling us to put our hope and faith in the Lord because the Lord has never-ending love and forgiveness for us. The psalm finishes by giving us hope and an assurance that God is love and he is there for us and all we have to do is trust in his word, ask for forgiveness and continue to live in his light.

This psalm gives me hope during Lent that our waiting will pay off.

Happy Sunday, stay safe and well everyone.

 

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