Pastor Lynn Rubier-Capron’s Sermon
April 14, 2019 — Palm Sunday
I woke up this morning to all this beautiful sun and I wanted to put on Easter clothes so bad!
And, Easter is going to be great, there’s going to be timpany and a trumpet, choirs, organ and piano.
I was ready for Easter this week too. I’m not sure why, but this year Holy Week just seems hard. I mean, harder than usual. Holy week is always hard.
Maybe that’s why the ancient Christians emphasized Palm Sunday. Maybe that’s why Palm Sunday happened in the first place.
Jesus went around proclaiming: “The kingdom of God is among you.” He meant, of course, himself. He meant that the ability to live under the reign of God perfectly, without sin, was happening in him as he lived his life.
The reason Holy week had to happen is because the world wasn’t ready for the kingdom of God. It forced people in power to loose power, it gave people on the outside a place on the inside. It made losers out of winners and winners out of losers. At least, from our perspective.
Of course, in the kingdom of God, there is a third way. It’s a way that makes sure everyone has a place in God’s kingdom. But to get there, we have to let go of that choice between winners and losers and let God redeem us. It’s the way of the cross.
The things he had to do to bring redemption into this world, that’s the third way. We know what it is, right?
Born of the Spirit of God in human flesh
Living with power to cast out evil, work with creation to achieve God’s will, heal humanity from anything that separates us from the love of God and our capacity to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
And for those moments when we do embrace the kingdom of God, that Holy Spirit surges through us and something regal happens both in us and in the world.
Most of us don’t make it through a day without turning away from redemption because it is always the way of the cross.
If it isn’t the way of the cross, it’s back to winners and losers. And as Jesus prepared to enter the heart of Jerusalem, it looked like he and his followers were going to loose about as badly as possible.
So, no wonder Jesus’ disciples fell asleep when he went off by himself to pray. They were probably depressed and feeling quite hopeless.
They knew about the cross, it was a physical part of their lives. It was the last place anyone would look for the kingdom of God. It was a violation of God’s kingdom.
But Jesus woke them up so they could see what God would do, in him, through the cross.
So, we will follow him into this holy week. We will go to the cross not because it’s ours to save the world, but because we are following him through the cross into resurrection – that place where God’s kingdom is waiting for all of us and for every part of us.
What part of us needs to die in order for God’s kingdom to reign in and through our life? That’s the question for Holy Week.
And the other question, are we willing to let God use even that to bring redemption and resurrection into this beautiful world?