Now to the gate of our Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of our hearts,
The Savior comes. But will we 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. We 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 our resistance and make us your home.
Jesus, our Lord, we shout
hosannas to praise you.
With eager hands, we
place our palms of praise
on the path before you.
Yet, Lord, we confess that
the mouths that seek to praise
you often deny or defy you.
We confess that the hands that
seek to serve you often become fists.
We confess our praise is often empty.
Just as the people of Jerusalem did long ago,
We sing “Hosanna,” but will cry “Crucify.”
As the crowd laid their palms in front of you,
you took no glory for yourself.
Yet, we confess that we crave
acceptance and take the easy way.
We do not stay true to your will.
Forgive us, Lord, and help us
to follow in the way of your
obedience to our Father.
Help us to be faithful and loving
servants of Jesus, our King.
We pray in the name of the Father,
of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Sermon and Reflection
How does Jesus meet or counter our expectations of who is and why he came to earth?
How can we ”be on the way” with Jesus and with community as we follow Jesus?
This is a vision of the way it
can be, the way it should be—
Shouts of welcome, a joyful
procession, a community
The same vision is offered to us today:
We can welcome Christ into our lives;
We can celebrate his transforming power.
Yet how swiftly things changed back then,
How swiftly we, too, can be distracted.
May we hold fast to his vision of goodness—
Peace from the practice of justice,
equality from the practice of respect.
As this week unfolds, may we will let
ourselves be overtaken by God’s love.
May we will pour it back out into the world.
We ask all this in the name
of the Father,
of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit.
Go in peace and live the church.
See you throughout the week.