Monday, April 06, 2009

Palm Sunday: Entrance to Holy Week

Palmarum - Palm Sunday is the entrance into Holy Week. With the Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem He set into play the events that would finalize the salvation for which He was born into the world as a man. The Lord Jesus was received on this day by the multitudes as the Promised One, the Messiah or Christ, the Anointed of the Lord. Yet very few understood what this meant.

The Lord Jesus most assuredly knew. It was for this reason that He took on human flesh and a human spirit. As the eternal Son of God, the Logos, the King of Glory, He came to Jerusalem on an ass, a lowly beast of burden.

After the Sunday service, we always reflect upon the pericopal readings, the liturgy, the hymns, and the sermon. After preaching the sermon I realized more fully the point of the Epistle reading and the point of Palm Sunday. St. Paul declares that the saints are to be united by the mind of Christ which is the mind of God.

And what is the mind or the way of thinking of God? He is the King of Glory who according to His very being serves. God is a servant King. From the beginning, He is a servant. Everything in the accounts of creation shows us this. God is love. He acts in love. He created the cosmos for the sake of humans. He created humans and placed us over the entire creation to enjoy all that He had created.

The mind of God is the way of providing for His beloved children whom He created in His own image. From the beginning He established all things for our sake. Knowing what would be and the choices that we would make, He established our redemption even as He created us and the world for us.

Palm Sunday is the entrance into knowing the mind of God. By His entrance into His Holy city He publicly displayed His mind toward us. He came lowly and riding on an ass, the foal of an ass. He came not to be served, but to serve and to give Himself as a ransom for many.

When He speaks of our service to Him, what does He require? His definition of service to Him is that we hear His loving voice and live in accord with the good life that He has established for us. His definition of service to Him is that we receive from Him in faith the good things that He gives for us. In other words, His definition of our service to Him is that we acknowledge His loving and fatherly desire to serve us and to receive His loving service in His love together. Service to God is simply acknowledging Him as our loving God who establishes His Holy Communion for us to enjoy together with Him and one another.

Sunday’s sermon is Philippians 2:5-11 — “This Mind Be In You”.

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