Friday, March 14, 2008

For Palm Sunday (March 16) - A Kingdom Parade

Matthew 21:1-11
This week we come to one of those passages that's hard to get a fresh grasp on because we are so used to it, if we've been in the Church for a long time. Palm fronds, kids processing in the santuary, cries of "Hosanna" which sound fun, but we're not sure just what these cries mean (save!). Jesus accepts the people's praises and apparent proclamation of being a King, but he knows full well that in just a few days his time on earth will come to a violent end.
Just what's going on?
As we've been learning for the past few weeks, there is a Kingdom thing happening. All through the Gospels Jesus talks more about the Kingdom of God than just about anything else. Most of his parables are about the Kingdom, Jesus' final week might just be the clearest evidence we have that he was ushering in the Kingdom of God on earth. Back at the beginning of his ministry, Jesus said,
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. (Matthew 11:12)
What if Jesus was really talking about the Kingdom of Heaven on earth - now? What if his final week was the end of an old earth and the beginning of something new happening - even if we've been incredibly slow to figure it out? If there's truth in this perspective, then what might Palm Sunday and the way Jesus arrived in Jerusalem mean? What's different about this understanding? What might it mean for how we are to live our lives? Share some thoughts here! - Curtis