Color This Picture...
2010-03-27 by Rina Terry

In a desperate attempt to have a quality Jr. Church experience for the children, my new appointment (as of July 1, 09) requires that the pastor come up with the ideas.

I just pulled out "A 'Praise Our King' Coloring Page, along with an Activity Page that includes a word scramble, crossword and word search.  Wouldn't it be great some Sundays to look out at the crowd in the pews, sit down on the step of the chancel area, tell a simple Bible story and pass out coloring and activity pages.

In some respects, that's a bit what age-old Palm Sunday observances ask of us.  I've read so many things this week that say, "Don't preach; just tell the story.  It speaks for itself."  Now I don't want to go up against the experts but the Passion cries out (pun intended) for preaching, witness, proclamation.  Let the children process and wave whatever but, for "heaven's sake," preach a little something if the parade, hymns, announcements, welcoming of visitors, children's sermon, and multiple choir selections leave you any time to do so.

Am I sounding frustrated?  I'll do penance when I finish typing this entry. 

My Palm Sunday sermon will be about "getting things done."  How we go about it and how God goes about it.  How we portray what God "did" and what the scripture says God does.  Ready or not, here comes Jesus; there goes Jesus, it's all over.  God gets it done.  

I intend to use Annette Drost-Hulshoff's poem about Gethsemane as a point of departure for what Jesus must have been "imagining" as he knelt in the Garden.  I ready that somewhere a long time ago and it has stuck with me over the years.  I would imagine I am hardly the first to do so.

Honestly, I'm not there yet.  Usually, by Thursday afternoon, I've wrapped up my sermon in a nice little four-page text and have it paper-clipped and in my "Sermon" folder.  This is a tough year for me and I'm not always as ready as I once was but--by God's grace--when I step into the pulpit tomorrow morning at 11 AM.  It will get done.  It always does--neither because I've colored inside the lines nor solved the puzzle.  It gets done because I am faithful, though sometimes grudgingly, to The One Who Always Gets The Job Done.  I like that new name for God.  That'll preach!





Thanks to Rina and Stephen; How to Introduce the Passion
2010-03-26 by David von Schlichten

Guest blogger Rina Terry and indefatigable contributor Stephen Schuette have provided verdant posts below. Thank you to you both. Rina, tell the dolphins and birds at Cape May I said hi.

I will preach a brief sermon on Sunday that will introduce the Passion, which will follow the sermon. What is an effective way of introducing the Passion?

Yours in Christ,

David von Schlichten, Lectionary Blog Moderator





Humble Power
2010-03-26 by Stephen Schuette

At our Lenten Bible study around significant themes of the Pentateuch we were looking at that ancient text of Deut 26:1-11, and the “power” word popped out.  I wonder if in the Hebrew mind when they read about the events of Palm Sunday in Luke they had a familiar rendering of the Hebrew story playing on the tape inside their heads…  “The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; and he brought us into this place….”  The whole movement, however, began as a “minority report” of a Wandering Aramean who lived in Egypt as an alien, few in number.    Putting together and keeping together the creative tension of “humble” and “power” is what I see as my task this week. 





Tim's Question
2010-03-25 by Rina Terry

Hi Tim,

Most of the folks who asked questions (see Pastor Talk To Me About) seemed to answer themselves but I think you left the question open about the dry and green wood.

It may help you to take a look at Hosea 10:8 and Proverbs 11:31.  Lk 23:30 has a direct quote from Hosea.  In both Luke and Rev. 6:16 the phrase is used as an example of divine judgment.

It may be saying that if one as blameless as Jesus is treated as he is, what will happen to Jerusalem who  will be guilty.  Or, if such things occur while Jesus is alive and with them, what will occur once he no longer is physically among them.  Look at 1 Peter 4:17-18.

I hope this helps!





Bring in the Trappings
2010-03-25 by Rina Terry

Today, just before I left the church, one of the parishioners brought in four large palm tree plants.  He told me he and his wife were not ready to put them on their porch yet as they haven't cleaned it up so the church could use them until they were ready to put them on their porch.  "We wanted to get them while they were on sale," he said.

Church as storage bin is a large problem at my present appointment.  Now, we will enjoy the palm plants and they will add to the festivity of remembering the procession.  Yet, for whose benefit do we do what we do in worship, in the church building, in our service.

Clearly, Jesus was doing all that he did as an act of obedience and as a reflection of God's Kingdom which he proclaimed.   What will we proclaim on "Palm" Sunday?  What's in my spiritual Palm Sunday storage pod?  Beyond our scholarly holding forth, beyond our exegetical prowess, beyond our familiarity with the narrative...  Will we take home our piece of palm and put it in a vase, in our car, on a shelf or dresser?  Use our little woven palm cross for a book mark? 

Mark:  Hosanna!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord?  Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!

Matthew:  Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!

Luke:  Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!

Me: ??             You:  ??





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