Matthew 21:1–11 Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem. NRSV
When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, ‘Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, just say this, “The Lord needs them.” And he will send them immediately.’ 4This took place to fulfil what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
5 ‘Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
6The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; 7they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
10When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’ 11The crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.’
Our Gospel reading today from Matthew starts in the relative quiet of a hillside and ends on one of the main street’s of the city of Jerusalem in shouting and bustling of palms and pilgrims. A time full of anticipation and drama. The disciples and the crowd lay down their cloaks for Jesus in a powerful gesture of adoration and self-sacrifice.
This is a joyous entry into Jerusalem, in the lead up to the important Jewish festivals of Passover. The disciples and the crowd are blissfully unaware of what lies ahead in the coming days, even though Jesus had warned them. They are caught up in the moment and who can blame them.
Have there been times in your life that you ignored the warnings choosing to stay in the moment?
Would you do things differently if they came again?
Prayer of Praise
People of God,
With branches in your hands, start the festival in joy!
Celebrate with creation the songs of delight!
For in our dark times,
God’s Light shines brightly.
In our grieving,
Jesus holds us tenderly.
In our exhaustion,
The Spirit Advocate groans with us
As we wait to be set free in Christ.
People of God,
Help us hear the cries
Of those trapped in sorrowing,
those longing to be set free with justice,
those who are hurting in unseen ways
And those who are hungering for food and safety.
For in the midst of the joy
We know God stays with us in our humanity
And all that it brings into our living and being.
As one, let us march around the table of welcome,
lay down our tools of trade
and celebrate the feast that is lifegiving and plentiful
For we are God’s people,
Welcomed in love,
Carried with care,
Supported in kindness
And healed when broken.
With all creation,
Let us sing with joy.
And all the people say Amen!
Rev Anne Hewitt
People kept spreading their cloaks on the road. Prayerful colouring. Mark Hewitt