Palm Sunday

by Matthew B. Harper

Psalm 22:1 – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

Throughout all of Jesus’ travels, through all of his earthly ministry, Jesus often went away to be alone to pray; but not so on this night. On this night, in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus kept his friends close. I believe it was in this garden, on this night, when our salvation was truly forged. Jesus pleads with God, he begs to avoid the horror of the crucifixion, and then he follows God’s will.

When I was preparing to come to prison I too surrounded myself with friends. We are together and talked. They helped me pack up some of my belongings for long-term storage, and I gave much away to them. The morning before I went away a group of friends came over to my house and our rector celebrated communion with us. Before leaving, my Love and I held each other close, and then I left. I went to prison with my head up, but it was only by the strength of my faith and my friends that I was able to do so. And when I broke down in fear, pain, and regret many times in the next few years, it was those friends that have given me strength, and taught me how to be a better man.

We are not meant to walk this journey through the world on our own. God has given us a great gift in the presence of each other, and we should draw strength from that. Even in the depth of his pain our Lord turned to us, lowly mortals, for companionship and comfort. Can we do any less?

So if it is listening when someone is in distress, holding someone when they cry, or simply standing beside someone when tragedy strikes, be there when you are needed.

Almighty God and everlasting God, who sent thy Son our Savior to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross: mercifully grant that we may both follow in the example of His patience, and also be partakers of His resurrection, Amen” BCP168

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Lectionary: Palm Sunday

by LA

Luke 19:28-40

You can’t really plan the time, method or place the Lord chooses to use you, as this reading from Luke 19 correctly illustrates. I’m sure that the owners of the that donkey never expected in a million years that it would be called into service that way on that day. After all, that same donkey had never in its life carried anyone before. Lent C Palm Lk So how could anyone expect that it would be asked to carry the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords? And on the Shabbat no less! A day that according to Jewish custom no work is to be done by human or beast.

Sometimes you can be just as surprised as the owners of that donkey when the Lord calls on you. You could be in the bull pen waiting to go “up top” for a visit and feel the calling to share a word or two of the gospel with the prisoner locked in there with you. Or you could be walking in the chow line when you are called to say a kind word to the man ahead of you.

When these “callings” come don’t worry about how awkward this encounter is gonna be or that this might make you look like a lame. Instead, remember what the owners of that donkey did when they found that the reason the disciples were untying their colt was that “the Lord hath need of it.” Did they argue? Did they protest the Shabbat or make excuses? No. They obeyed and the Lord rode that donkey into Jerusalem in triumph.

Some of the Lord’s greatest triumphs are on the backs of the most unexpected callings of a believer to obey.