“The Reason You Walk”
It was the choir’s anthem for today, the American Spiritual “Ride On, King Jesus,” that got me thinking about Jesus’ journey through Holy Week. It was chosen innocently enough, as an anthem about the Triumphal Entry. But when Bill invited me to share with the choir about how the anthem would fit into the service on Palm Sunday, I started to realize that it was about more than just the Palm Parade.
“Ride on, King Jesus,” we sang, “No one can hinder him.” And we pictured Jesus on the donkey and the crowds laying down their cloaks and branches like a red carpet for the King.
But the repeated words, “No one can hinder him” seemed odd, because no one was trying to get in his way or stop him from entering Jerusalem that day. The crowds cheered for him and hailed him as their King! They cried out “Hosanna!” – “Lord, save us!” because they believed (at least for a moment) that he was the ruler who had come to save them from their oppressors.
What I suggested to the choir was that the journey of Jesus in the song is not just the entry into … Read more »
“Mocking and Murdering”
We don’t do it every year, but it is traditional to read a good portion of the story of Jesus’ passion on this Sunday before Easter, known both as Palm Sunday and Passion Sunday. The Revised Common Lectionary suggests that we might read all the way through Mark 14 and Mark 15. I chose a slightly shorter section for our reflection today, but if you want some scripture to study in your personal devotions during this Holy Week, Mark 14 and 15 would be a good choice.
There are a lot of things that a preacher could say about a section of the Gospel 39 verses long, but the thing that stood out to me as a reflected on this passage was the way that Jesus was mocked.
After falsely accusing him of blasphemy, the religious leaders determined that he deserved to die. They bound him, led him away, and turned him over to the Roman governor. In jest, the governor called him the “King of the Jews,” and the leaders stirred up the crowds to call for his execution.
Then the soldiers took Jesus away – not straight to a cross, but they had some fun with him first. … Read more »
“Psalms of Lament: Living in a Broken World”
Psalm 13, Refrain #1
As most of you know, we have been celebrating the Psalms at St. Andrew’s this month, and last Sunday our focus was on Psalms of Praise and Thanksgiving. Now, I’m sorry for any of you who missed last Sunday because it was a great Sunday! With the theme of praise and thanksgiving, we got to pick some joyful, lively music, and there was a wonderful spirit of rejoicing in the church.
I think it worked out really well. But it wasn’t just that we had planned a good service… it was also the fact that everyone came in to church in a great mood! Someone told me afterward that the entranceway before church last Sunday was full of laughter and excitement and joy. Do you remember why? It was warm outside!
That was the morning that we finally got a break from the bitter cold of a Saskatchewan winter, and we all came in to church rejoicing. It was a great day! And most of us arrived at worship more than ready to praise and thank God for all God’s blessings, including the relatively warmer temperature.
But happy and joyful are … Read more »
Sermon by the Rev. Amanda Currie
I have been thinking for several weeks about what I might be called to say to you on this Good Friday morning. Often we don’t have a sermon on this day. We let the scriptures speak for themselves. We tell the story of Jesus’ last day. We journey with him through the agony of his passion. And we pause at the foot of the cross to mourn for a while, because Jesus our Lord is crucified. But this year, I wanted to preach. I wanted to spend some time with the event that we are remembering today, and to consider why it is such an important part of our Christian faith — why Good Friday, in many churches, is the most highly attended service of the year.
Last Friday evening, at our Kids’ Club program, we spent some time with the Easter story as a whole. The kids got lots of practice looking up bible verses as they had to look up 14 different verses that traced out of events of Jesus’ life, ministry, death, and resurrection. And then they had to put the events in the correct order. Once they had completed the activity, … Read more »