Sermon For March 29, 2015 ~ Fifth Sunday Of Lent

Mark 11:1-11 (http://bible.oremus.org/?ql=294625912 )

“Preparing For A Journey”

Franklin Circle Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Cleveland, Ohio ~ http://www.FranklinCircleChristianChurch.org

Rev. Allen V. Harris, Pastor & Preacher ~ E-Mail: PastorAllen@FranklinCircleChurch.org

Twitter: @FranklinCircle ~ Pastor’s Blog: https://nearwestclevepastor.wordpress.com

To watch a video of this sermon, go online to: https://youtu.be/7JoH3EjrUgA

Eastern New Mexico State Fair Parade

Eastern New Mexico State Fair Parade

We are all on a journey, the question is which journey are we on.   Are we are always thinking about another excursion, one that is something different than the one we are on? When I was a child the county fair was a big deal, and school let out so that we could go to the parade and then head to the fairgrounds to ride on the amusement park rides and see the big squash, the brilliant dahlias, and fine fat pigs that people had brought to show.

 

But the fair was nothing without the parade. In my youngest years it seemed like the biggest and most beautiful parade I had ever seen! Marching bands and big clowns on miniature bikes, lots of cowboys on horses and pretty girls sitting atop glittering floats. But the older I got, and the more big city parades I saw on television, like the Rose Bowl Parade or the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade, the less glamorous and interesting the Southeastern New Mexico Fair Parade became.

 

Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 - 1561) The Entry into Jerusalem, about 1525 - 1530, Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment Leaf: 16.8 x 11.4 cm (6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig IX 19, fol. 77v

Simon Bening (Flemish, about 1483 – 1561)
The Entry into Jerusalem, about 1525 – 1530, Tempera colors, gold paint, and gold leaf on parchment
Leaf: 16.8 x 11.4 cm (6 5/8 x 4 1/2 in.)
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig IX 19, fol. 77v

It’s a natural human trait, it seems, to always think that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Or the parade is grander somewhere else. But the parade we commemorate each year on Palm Sunday was not just a moment of festivity and therefore should not be scrutinized like it was entertainment. The parade in which Jesus participated, he being the only entry or float in the Palm Sunday Parade, was more of a moment on a journey, and a journey not to a fair or a football game or a party. It was a journey into the depths of meaning and honesty about who we are as human beings, and in which parade we are going to march.

 

Marcus Borg and John Domminic Crossan have explored the fact that this Palm Sunday moment cannot be understood apart from the fact that across the city of Jerusalem, at the beginning of the very same religious festival, another procession was taking place, this one by Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of the region, with his imperial cavalry and soldiers, bursting with pomp and circumstance. The intention of Pilate’s parade was to force the throngs of the devoted faithful to cower, to compel them into behaving or risk the strong retaliation of his mighty forces.

 

Jesus, by entering humbly on a colt, enjoyed the attention of the masses of the people, not their disdain. He saw them as companions on his journey, not enemies as did Pilate. In fact, as the meditation just made clear, Jesus knew the people because he had walked over the broken glass of their world, had touched them and healed them, had scoured the back streets and corners of the city to bring hope and dignity to them.

Today we are asked: which journey will we be on? In which parade will we march? The one that seeks dominance, glory, and success which ultimately breeds fear and anguish? Or are we preparing for a journey of love, that acknowledges the hard places of life and seeks solidarity, offers advocacy, and desires nothing but to heal the wounds of the world through love, humility, and sacrifice? Ride on! Ride on, ride on in majesty!

 

Amen.

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