Lectionary Selection: Matthew 21:1-11
Prayers for Israel/Palestine:
Who is this?
The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?” And the crowds replied, “This is Jesus the prophet…” (Mt. 21:8-11)
It’s a scene of jubilation; full of shouting and singing and street theater like the conquering king riding in on a donkey while the Roman representative across town rides in on a war chariot. Self conscious of fulfilling Zechariah’s prophesy, our Messiah chooses to enter on the same humble beast he rode out on when he was a baby in his mother’s arms fleeing genocidal Herod.
If we truly wish to hail this new king we must prepare the way by throwing off our cloaks, by divesting ourselves of all the things that stand in the way of peace. We must be prepared to have our temples, our churches, examined.
To welcome the nonviolent Christ, the Messiah, we have to be ready to withdraw our support for making the tools that support injustice and violence.
Blessed is the one that weeps
for us and with us
when we have lost our way.
Blessed is the one that comes
towards us in majesty and humbleness
down that ancient twisted path
straight into our gated cities,
locked up hearts.
Blessed is the one that hears
our shouts of joy
then endures our chants of betrayal
Blessed is the one that
knows our limitations,
who pours out his love for us,
into us so we can be
guardians of truth
protectors of justice
architects of peace.
Hosanna in the highest
we are inspired by your passion
ready to follow.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Israel/Palestine:
The YWCA of Palestine welcomes you to Jerusalem, the city of peace, where violence still erupts daily in the lives of the women and youth we serve. We invite you to walk the path of nonviolence and peacemaking with us by supporting our efforts to create peacemakers for a future where all will be able to live in peace, dignity, and freedom.
We thank you for your efforts to connect the lines between human rights and women’s rights; racial justice in the United States and racial/ethnic/and religious justice in Palestine and Israel.
We give thanks for your prophetic witness in asking your country to withdraw military aid until your national laws are obeyed and violations against international law ends. Your persistence strengthens our resistance.
Your witness and advocacy remind us we are not alone, that you hear our stories of suffering and our chants of victory when our women and youth succeed in their leadership efforts or are able to stand up for themselves and their rights.
Palm Sunday marks Jesus’ descent down the Mount of Olives into the city of Jerusalem. We know there will be pain and suffering on the Via Dolorosa leading to his death but we remind you that we Christians also know that this isn’t the end of the story. The tomb will be empty and here in Jerusalem a small light will go out from Holy Sephlechure on Holy Saturday to announce to the world He is Risen. The light will be passed from one lantern to the next.
Let us remember then, during this Holy Season of Easter, that the light of the world is shared. Thank you for sharing yours and receiving ours.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Loren McGrail)
Mission Partners in Israel/Palestine:
- Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem
- Diyar Consortium
- East Jerusalem YMCA (Palestine)
- Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
- Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
- Friends Meeting in Ramallah
- Kairos Palestine
- Rawdat el-Zuhur (Palestine)
- Sabeel Ecumenical Liberation Theology Center (Jerusalem)
- Tantur Ecumenical Institute
- YWCA of Palestine (Palestine)
More information on Israel/Palestine: http://www.globalministries.org/israel_palestine
Global Ministries Missionary in Israel/Palestine:
Rev. Loren McGrail serves with the YWCA of Palestine. She helps identify international partners, and relevant sources of funding. Her appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.