What are we up to with all these Palms?

Can be listened to here.

Gate Pa – Palm Sunday 2016 (year c)

Hebrew Scripture:     Isa 50:4-9a   
Psalm:                         Psalm: 118                 
Epistle:                        Phil 2:5-11      
Gospel:                        Luke 19:28-40

What I want to say:
Explore what Luke might have thought was going on in this story, and how the suffering servant idea fits in all this. Then ask what do we think is going on with us as readers of this story today?
What I want to happen:
People to reflect on what they are looking for this week?

The Sermon

     1.      Introduction:

What do you think is going on here?
How would you describe this story?
Often described as crowd welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem
            then same crowd turning on him by Friday.
is that what Luke is describing
is that what Luke thinks is going on here?

     2.      An opening story

to hear this story
we need to go back to beginning of chapter 19 –
            Zacchaeus in Jericho
then verse 11
“As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable because they were near Jerusalem and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately”
Jesus tells story of nobleman who wanted to be king – so went off far away land to be made king
some people follow persuade kingmaker (Emperor) not make him king
            which sounds bit like Herod Great’s sons
            especially Archelaus
            – went Rome become ruler
            returned rule Jerusalem with great cruelty until finally deposed by Rome
            his “kingship” based on brutal power
Left 10 pounds with 10 slaves to do business with
some had – told “well done good slave”
            shown to be trustworthy and were given even more
one had hidden it because afraid
            master harsh man
             took where did not deposit
            reaped did not sow
Master gets all hoha and says should at least put money in bank
take pound from him – give it to one made 10 pounds
tell you – all those who have more will be given
those who have nothing even what have will be taken away
slaughter’s all people not want him to be king

     3.      A Parade

“And having said this Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.”
when gets Bethphage and Bethany –
sends 2 disciples up pick up/ borrow colt
            prearranged to use
            knew would be available somehow
disciples get all keen and throw cloaks on colt and on road ahead
            no palms in this story
            only in John it turns out
            maybe call this cloak Sunday
head off down path to Jerusalem on Mount Olives
disciples and followers – no crowd as enters Jerusalem
just disciples and followers
            repeating chorus of angels in birth story
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”
while publishers call this –triumphal entrance
            still on his way
            not entered
            not triumphal entrance

     4.      Grumpy Pharisees

then bunch grumpy Pharisees
not at all happy with this commotion and would like it to stop
Jesu says that even if they did the stones themselves would shout out
the stones themselves
what stones are being talked about here?
Luke is writing this after catastrophic events of 70 AD
when Jewish revolt against Roman rule
            revolt that some had hoped
            some had feared
                         Jesus would spark
            led destruction of Jerusalem
            temple being left as pile stones tossed around and over mount
            millions Jews either killed or carted off into slavery
some commentators wonder if these are stones that cried out in Luke’s time
            crying out against all those walked in ways of nobleman
            ways violence
            treated others as less than
this is the end point if we fail to heed Jesus way

     5.      Jesus way for Luke

WE began with triumphant parade of returned king – Archelaus
            Brutal Roman puppet
            brought death and poverty
story ends with Jesus weeping over Jerusalem
            charred stones of temple crying out
There is no peace in the ways of empire
no peace in ways of ruling families
no peace in ways wealthy Judean elite who add to poverty of rural folk
no peace in Rome and their puppets
no peace their ways
and all those who seek use their ways overthrown them and impose their own version of peace
always end in death and destruction
and those who hope in their ways will find not peace
As Jesus rides down the Mount of Olives
            where tradition taught that God’s final intervention would occur
on this Passover
            festival commemorates/celebrates God’s actions
            liberating slaves oppressed in Egypt
recued them
made them God’s people
gave them life and peace
festival trembling with anti-Roman sentiment every year
festival provided flash point Romans, Herodians, High Priests and wealthy Judean elite feared every year
was this the year the war for peace would begin?
face of that we are reminded by disciples cry that Jesus is way of peace

     6.      So what does Luke think is going on here?

Jesus procession down mount olives not triumphal entry
statement that peace not found triumphal entries – Archelaus
            High Priests
Way of peace way laid out in Nazareth
            good news is proclaimed to the poor.
            and liberty is proclaimed to the captives
            recovery of sight to the blind,
            liberty those who are oppressed,
            the year of the Lord's favour.”
this is Jesus way
this for Luke is the way of peace
As we join in this year’s Palm Sunday
            where way of peace being proclaimed
            where are stones crying out for those with no peace
            how might we join with those disciples on Mount of Olives
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”


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