I love Palm Sunday. When I was in Adelaide Australia in a downtown church I regularly took park in an ecumenical palm procession at the Catholic cathedral one block away from the church I served. We processed around a city block waving palms and singing. And because there are palm trees in Adelaide, we had so many large palms with which to decorate the church. I love Palm Sunday at Ascension, with palms around the altar, with palms in our hands processing in and around the sanctuary with singing. I love seeing the annual palm procession down the Mt of Olives and into Jerusalem, following near to where Jesus actually was on the donkey, with crowds of Passover pilgrims shouting out Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna – the word – is both a word of praise, and a prayer – Save us, or save now. What an appropriate word to shout right now around the earth -God, save us. Save us now. Sometimes in past sermons I have reflected on what Jesus disciples might have been thinking in that procession. They must have got carried away in all the excitement as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, as kings did when they were bringing a message of peace. I wonder what they thought Jesus might do in Jerusalem. Even though Jesus had told his disciples that he had to go to Jerusalem to suffer and die, I don’t think that was on their minds at all. But I’m sure that in the midst of the excitement and praise, it was on Jesus’ mind. In Luke’s account of the Palm Procession, when Jesus sees the city of Jerusalem ahead of him, he stops to weep, lamenting that Jerusalem will not accept the kind of peace that he comes to bring, and in time Jerusalem will be destroyed.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
15Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’
3 So he told them this parable: 4 ‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance.
Jesus said: ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
“Real Friendship” Mark 2:1-12 March 18th 2020
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he