Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
It’s Palm Sunday here too.
I walked to church with the family from downstairs, who was also a bit late. On the way, I joked to Jill about grabbing some palm branches as we walked. We talked about processions back home, and how the South Boston procession hadn’t been rained out since we moved to town.
Note: Did it rain today in SoBo? I hear there was a donkey.
Just after we got to our seats, it seems Christy had convince the pastor that we should do a procession. So with drums, a mostly one-word song of Palm-Sunday praise, and various green cuttings, we danced out onto the trail towards the road. A little boy surprised me and grabbed my hand on the way out of church. So he and I hosanna’d our way along with the procession. We went up the trail on both sides of the rut, and the pastor and elders tried to keep us to one side of the road so the moto-taxis could get by. Several minutes later, we had looped back and were back in the church still praising the arrival of the Lord’s Kingdom. I enjoyed the familiar tradition as much as they enjoyed their new one, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have suggested it.
During the opening announcements, the worship leader went into a discussion of oil, water, and Aaron’s beard (can you name the book and chapter, answer later) that was lost in the English translation, and probably on most of the French-speakers too. The sermon, about the coming Kingdom of God, covered Daniel, Zechariah, and Mark.
Dan 2:27-47 “This was the dream; now we will tell the king its interpretation. Your Majesty, you are king of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and glory. Wherever people live–or wild animals, or birds of the air–He has handed them over to you and made you ruler over them all. You are the head of gold. “After you, there will arise another kingdom, inferior to yours, and then another, a third kingdom, of bronze, which will rule the whole earth. A fourth kingdom will be as strong as iron; for iron crushes and shatters everything, and like iron that smashes, it will crush and smash all the others. You saw the feet and toes, partly of a potter’s fired clay and partly of iron–it will be a divided kingdom, though some of the strength of iron will be in it. You saw the iron mixed with clay, and that the toes of the feet were part iron and part fired clay–part of the kingdom will be strong, and part will be brittle. You saw the iron mixed with clay–the peoples will mix with one another but will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with fired clay. “In the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, and this kingdom will not be left to another people. It will crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, but will itself endure forever. You saw a stone break off from the mountain without a hand touching it, and it crushed the iron, bronze, fired clay, silver, and gold. The great God has told the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its interpretation certain.”
Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell down, paid homage to Daniel, and gave orders to present an offering and incense to him. The king said to Daniel, “Your God is indeed God of gods, Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, since you were able to reveal this mystery.”
Zec 9:9-10 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your King is coming to you; He is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem. The bow of war will be removed, and He will proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will extend from sea to sea, from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.
Mar 11:1-10 When they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples and told them, “Go into the village ahead of you. As soon as you enter it, you will find a young donkey tied there, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here right away.'” So they went and found a young donkey outside in the street, tied by a door. They untied it, and some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the donkey?” They answered them just as Jesus had said, so they let them go. Then they brought the donkey to Jesus and threw their robes on it, and He sat on it. Many people spread their robes on the road, and others spread leafy branches cut from the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed kept shouting: Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
I couldn’t help but remember walking the path down from the Mount of Olives outside of Jerusalem, photos with the not-so-sweet-smelling donkey along the way, and looking at the Eastern gate and the path that, though closed by the hands of man, the Messiah will follow when he comes back. Christ was everything they wanted, but nothing they expected….and I wonder how many of those praising the Lord with their cloaks and branches had any idea that He had come not for war and death to the Romans (the current and fleeting kingdom), but to bring eternal life to His people.
In the discussion, as I’ve heard many times, they said that all worldly kingdoms will fall. Babylon, Rome, Persia, Greece, Rome…the US. It struck me differently this time, especially with the current administration, that our domination seems to be crumbling more than ever. The worldly powers are losing touch with the people, and and forces are rising up against one another. My mind jumped to strengthening our defenses, raced to those back at home, and for a moment I feared what would happen to this work in Cameroon if resources ran dry over there.
The end of the sermon brought it back…that we need not worry if we are part of God’s Kingdom. As worldly kingdoms rise and fall, Christ is sovereign. Christ is Lord. Christ is King.
Answer to question above: Psalm 133