The Joy of a King without an Army

Matthew 21:1-14

A Week of Joy and awful Foolishness
Palm Sunday leads to Easter – two celebrations bracketing startling, awful events: conflict, betrayal, abandonment, injustice, torture, crucifixion. This year Easter is April 1 –April Fool’s. It’s there from the start: It’s a fool’s tale: “The word of the cross is foolishness...” (1Cor 1:18). 
And for many of the wise of our day it still is. Actually, for everyone! The foolishness is built in. In this series of events God intends to challenge all our assumptions of how things are: What it means to be strong, to make a real difference, to show glory and power, even God’s. We all, even much of the church, think we know better what’s smart, powerful, glorious, wise. 
And then there’s that young man! Astride a little donkey, riding down the hill toward the brilliant marble and gold of Herod’s vast temple, with the fortress of Rome’s soldiers, toward death. 

Beauty and Betrayal

Matthew 26:1-16

What Do You See as Events Unfold?
Matthew is leading us to see who Jesus is. He helps us watch as different people interact with Jesus, positively and negatively, and we can respond to what they see in Jesus. His concern is with us readers. He is recounts memories of the early disciples, oft repeated. He counts on our growing sense of expectation, our sense of how difficult this was for many of them.

Two days earlier (Sunday) Jesus entered Jerusalem with a crowd acclaiming him King (21:1-11) as he enacted prophecies of the humble king (Zech 9:9; Ps 118:25-26). Since then, conflict with all the leaders in the temple. Questions of Messiah, Temple, kingdom of the Son of Man – all loaded with expectation and struggle at the time of Passover. All challenging for us.

Jesus’ Death and the Love of God

Romans 5:1-11

A Week of Death and Life – All comes Together 
This is Palm Sunday. In a.d. 30 (1,985 years ago), it was just a work day, crowds were pouring into Jerusalem for Passover. Jesus approached the city. Every action of ‘the prophet’ meant something. He begins the week that changed the world. Events happened – ordinary, wonderful, horrific, impossible – irony, paradox, multiple layers of meaning...