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  • Writer's pictureJess B

Weekly Liturgy : March 18-24

© Miguel Camerena
© Miguel Camerena
John 12:12-16

12-13 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,


“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the king of Israel!”


14-15 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written:


 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion;    see, your king is coming,    seated on a donkey’s colt.”


16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.


 

REFLECTIONS:

Thoughts from Jess:


Jesus comes riding on a donkey! A lowly work animal that is steady on rough terrain and slow. Jesus knew this is always what he would enter Jerusalem on.  Luke quotes the Prophet Zechariah which tells us that the awaited king that will rule Jerusalem (and to the ends of the earth) will ride in humbly on a donkey.  It will be the king who comes in peace to declare peace to all nations.  He will bring freedom, hope and restoration.  Most kings take a city or a nation by conquering it, by battle or war, but this king takes it in peace. He actually ends all war as well as the warhorses that the conquerors usually ride in on. Hence the practical, not so majestic donkey.


Luke is obviously connecting Jesus to this awaited king who would forever rule the nation of Israel, and yet it looks different than they had expected.  Jesus is the king, that king, but he goes on to die and Jersalum is conquered by Rome  not long after in 70 AD. Hum! So what’s going on here? Well Jesus is the king, but the kingdom seems to be realized only partially in the physical world, and more so in the spiritual sense.  It also opened the way that all people (Gentiles) would be united with Israel as the people of this kingdom.  Inclusive of all who want to be part of  this kingdom, open to all.  This is how this kingdom is established in peace, with no force or war. 


Jesus came and did a lot of things that were not the way people expected it. He turned kingly power into humble servanthood. He turned the desire to rule a land into the level ground of peace. He turned a promise to one nation into a place where all are united in one kingdom. He turned himself into a human and he humbly suffered, served and loved. This is the kind of king I want and a kingdom I want to be part of.



 

PRACTICE:

Outward Mindset Application

Can you turn unexpected experiences into a new way of looking at the world instead of a disappointment?


Pathways toward Centeredness

Take some time this week to express gratitude for the humble and simple things in your life. Show gratitude for the opportunities you get this week to serve others.


Questions for Reflection

Are there expectations you had  of God or the way you think your life should have been that weren’t  met?


Could it be possible that you are missing some good things because you’re focused on the  things that didn’t work out the way you thought they should?

 

“Liturgy” refers to the habits and practices humans use to form community around shared values and meaning. At Church at the Park, we desire to be a community of practice, becoming people who see the world through the eyes of the marginalized, making meaning through the lens of pain and suffering, and committing ourselves to non-violence in a wounded world. This weekly email is intended to provide pathways of practice for becoming the type of people who embody these values.


Many of our reflections on each week's text come from other sources. If you're interested in reading more of what inspires us, here our our two favorite reflections.


Copyright (C) 2023 Church at the Park. All rights reserved.



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