Summary: A sermon for Palm Sunday.
"The Shouting Stones"
There are some very interesting details in this story.
It's important to read the Scriptures carefully or else we might miss something--or lots of things.
We don't want to paint with too broad a brush.
In a similar way, it's important that we are careful with our Christian faith--lest it fall into the hands of vicious wolves in sheep's clothing.
It's easy to claim to be a Christian.
It's another thing, altogether, to BE a Christian.
What does Paul tell us?: "Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."
Being a Christian, involves the journey of faith.
It starts with repentance and a decision to follow Christ--to sell all that we have in order to follow Him...
...it continues as we pay close attention to the details of what it means to be Christian and seek to live into being more and more faithful and true followers of the One Who rode into Jerusalem so long ago...
...went to the Cross for our sins...
...and rose again in order that we too, might have life--now and forever.
So, let's look at some of the details of our Scripture passage on this Palm Sunday, 2016.
One of the things that stands out to me is what Jesus decided to ride into Jerusalem on.
I mean, why in the world would Jesus intentionally ride into town on a donkey...
...a silly looking donkey of all things?
Don't you think it would be kind of embarrassing?
I mean Jesus' entire life and ministry had been leading up to this point.
Jesus is entering Jerusalem--which, for the Jews, is the point of contact between heaven and earth.
His disciples are proclaiming Him King of the Jews--and thus, King of Jerusalem--King of Israel--King of heaven and earth!!!
They are introducing Him to the world.
This is a BIG deal.
This is a HUGE moment in history.
If you were Jesus, what would you decide to ride on or in as you enter the city that sits at the center of all of Judaism, is home to the Temple, is the capital city and the focal point of your nation's cultural identity?
What would you decide to ride on or in as you are being introduced to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people who are in Jerusalem for the Passover?
What would you decide to ride on or in as you are being declared King and Messiah?
Wouldn't almost anybody be most concerned with the people who are watching?
Wouldn't you want to make the best impression possible?
Wouldn't you get your hair cut or permed...
...wouldn't you get your nails done, your eyebrows waxed?
Wouldn't you wear the most expensive suit or dress possible?
And, again, what would you use for transportation?
Would you come in on a tank?
A royal stallion?
Would you have a motorcade and be flanked by secret service agents?
I mean, think of the nerve it would take to come in riding on an animal that is primarily owned and used by poor people.
Folks used donkeys for pumping water and milling grain...
...not for ticker-tape parades!
They are not elegant or beautiful animals in any sense.
They are beasts of burden.
They are not intimidating nor are they impressive.
It would be kind of like the President of the United States deciding to drive him or herself down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day in an old, rusty 1973 Ford Pinto or Plymouth Duster, or Chevy Chevette...
...or perhaps a little red tractor.
It's just not the way things are done.
It's not impressive.
It's not becoming of the office.
It's not ego-boosting.
It doesn't fit.
And yet this is what Jesus did--the King of the world--God become flesh.
But, then, Jesus didn't need to impress anyone.
Jesus obviously has a good, healthy self-esteem.
Jesus doesn't believe in "lording His power over on people."
He doesn't feel the need to put others below Him in order to lift Himself up.
Let's look at some more details in Luke's story of Palm Sunday.
We are told that Jesus gave two of His disciples the "task" of getting the donkey.
He tells them to go get a young donkey that has never been ridden.
That means it's never been broken in.
That means that when a person tries to mount it; that animal will try and buck the person right off.
But apparently, that did not happen when Jesus got on the little colt.
Maybe that's because somewhere in the recesses of that animal's DNA it somehow knew that it belonged to Jesus--that Jesus had created it and everything else in the world...
...and even a non-broken-in donkey will not buck off the One who knitted it together in its mother's womb.
I mean, Jesus is the Master of everything!!!