From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of Palm/Passion Sunday

Hi everyone,

I really wish I had something different to talk about. I really wish I had better news to tell my kids every morning when they ask if things are better in our city. I really wish I could get some fast food without fear of who touched my food (which I guess should always be a fear?). I thought 2020 was supposed to get better after that brutal January we had…

Yet, here we are nearing the end of March and things got worse. We don’t always get what we wish for. Nor do we always get what we expect.

But that isn’t always a bad thing. It seems like it is, but it doesn’t have to be. We might be disappointed, disillusioned, and maybe even disgusted with how things are, but at least we have what we have. I can’t list all the good things in our lives here because they’re obviously different for different people, but I know they are there. And if they truly aren’t, they are coming. I believe this. It is what our collective faith tells us.

So yeah, things suck now, but they won’t always. Yeah, we are disappointed with how things are going, but they will change. Yeah, we might feel like we aren’t getting anything we want, but that doesn’t mean we won’t ever.

That’s my hope, and I’m sticking with it.

Here are the readings for next week:
Matthew 21:1-11 (processional gospel)
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11
Matthew 27:11-54

You may have noticed there is an extra reading for next week. The processional gospel is the reading we have on Palm Sunday, right before we go marching into and around the church with our palm leaves or fronds or whatever they’re called, commemorating the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. This is a powerful story, people see Jesus, recognise him, and are filled with hope in their Saviour.

But then things change. They don’t go as one would have expected. It wasn’t what many wished for.

We read what happens in the the gospel lesson for Passion Sunday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and executed. Jesus was spit upon, insulted, and nailed to crude pieces of wood. Jesus didn’t save anyone, he just died.

The other gospel accounts has Jesus more interactive and lively, asking for forgiveness for his abusers, looking for a drink, and giving his life a more distinct purpose. But here, in Matthew’s gospel, we just get the desperation of Jesus, the pain that he feels, the heartbreaking disappointment that things didn’t go as expected.

Things were so much worse.

But there is hope. For truly this man is God’s Son.

May this week bring you peace and hope in these trying times.

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