Extra Holy Week, Jerusalem

This week is Holy Week in Jerusalem. At least it is for the Western church. Yesterday was Palm Sunday, and many people we know participated in the yearly march down the Mt. of Olives, commemorating Jesus’ triumphal entry. I (Vern) participated in a more modest way at Christ Church, an evangelical Anglican church just inside the Old City. We did a procession into the church singing ‘Hosanna in the Highest’ behind the deacon’s three small children waving palm branches.

I was priviledged to read two of the three lectionary readings: Zech. 9.9-10, and Ps. 118.1-2, 19-29. The minister’s sermon touched on themes of the kind of kingdom that Jesus came to announce: the Kingdom of Heaven (of God) on earth. I have been enjoying this concept as I wonder if many believers in the West have been announcing the Kingdom of Heaven, but trying to bring it into reality by attaching it a political party or a national diplomatic programme. I am remembering that we should be about promotion of God’s kingdom, through His means (love and sacrifice and service), rather than utilising the means of the kingdoms of men, be they Democrat or Republican, or whatever. Perhaps more on that later.

Today, I had the honour of leading the Morning Prayer service at Christ Church. I spoke briefly on Isaiah 42.1-9 and John 12.1-11. In both passages, we can see Jesus being announced as the Servant-King. But, we can also see that his crown comes at great cost: both to the king and to his servants. This is a necessary meditation in preparation for the momentous events of Easter weekend, and the implications of following our king after his resurrection.

Finally, this Friday evening, Passover begins. It is both a chaotic and messy time here in Jerusalem: lots and lots of pilgrims from both Jewish and Christian backgrounds. But, it gives a good feel for the crowded, noisy, and raucous atmosphere that Jesus rode into on Palm Sunday. I also like the feel as the events of Holy Week are given added ‘oomph’ as they are lining up exactly with the Jewish caledar so that, when I am observing Good Friday, my Jewish neighbours will be recounting God’s mighty deeds freeing Israel from Egypt. So poignant…


~ by eikonministries on April 2, 2012.

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