April 10, 2019
I am stepping away from the typical sermon this week and giving you more of a short reflection as we enter one of the most sacred weeks of the church year. The gospel of Luke can speak for itself and appears full of desolation as we await what we know happens following Jesus’ death on the cross.
Jesus was surrounded by a crowd of people as he entered Jerusalem one last time. Brian McLaren, in his book We Make the Road by Walking, imagines what that entry may look and sound like,
A reverent silence descends upon our parade. It’s a sight that has choked up many as a pilgrim. But Jesus doesn’t just get choked up. He begins to weep. The crowd clusters around him, and he begins to speak to Jerusalem. “If only you knew on this day of all days the things that lead to peace,” he says through tears. “But you can’t see. A time will come when your enemies will surround you, and you will be crushed and this whole city leveled …all because you didn’t recognize the meaning of this moment of God’s visitation.”
You didn’t recognize the meaning of this moment of God’s visitation!
These are the words of Jesus speaking the harsh truth to the people of Jerusalem that have gathered to welcome him into the city with fanfare and celebration. He could just as easily be saying, “I’m sorry, I think you are a little too late for that.” When do we ourselves fail to see Jesus in our midst? Do we look beyond the visitor and not welcome them in? Do we turn up our nose to the gentleman that walks into our community seeking assistance? Do we jump to quick conclusions when encountering someone that is not like us, whether they are a different gender, race, ability, or sexual orientation? Do we disregard our migrant neighbors that are escaping crime, persecution, and even death? Jesus can and will be found in all of these circumstances.
We are not much different than the crowd that has gathered around Jesus, full of excitement. As a community we are welcomed into something much greater than us over this next week. We are together because God has called us all to be a part of this community. Some of you have never known any other place. Some of you had significant life events that brought you here. Some of you have only been here a short time. It does not matter. We are all called into community to love and support one another. We are called to love and support each other in times of joy as well as times of sorrow. You are called to support those that are leading the congregation. You are called to care for this space like it is your own home. Why? Because we are in relationship with one another and we are community. In this community we welcome Jesus Christ in any and all forms.
together as a community. This week as a community we are invited to walk in the
steps of Jesus’ last days. Thursday we will gather to lay down our sins at the
foot of the cross, be reminded of Jesus’ love and service for all through the
washing of feet, and finally we will break bread with one another as we receive
Holy Communion. Friday, we come together as we recognize those last breaths of Jesus
on the cross. Breaths that are held until we gather for the Easter Vigil on
Saturday evening. These three days seamlessly flow together, and as a community
we live out these days with the anticipation of what is to come. You are
invited to come, and be fully present, and live into community this week as we
embrace Jesus’ last days and anticipate the new life to come.
 Brian McLaren, We Make the Road by Walking, pg. 149.