Lent 5


 “Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit’” (John 12:23-24). 

Next weekend, March 24-25, begins the holiest week of the entire year for us Christians. On Palm/Passion Weekend, we celebrate Jesus’ triumphal entry into the holy city of Jerusalem, joining the crowd in waving our palm branches and crying out, “Hosanna!,” which means, “Lord, save us!” 

However, even as we raise our palms and shout our “Hosannas,” we know all too well how Jesus’ week in Jerusalem will turn out. By the end of the week, the One who is heralded as king hangs dead on the cross, having given his life for the life of the world. We will anticipate the events of the week with the reading of the Passion Story from the gospel of Mark, hearing anew the dramatic story of Jesus’ trial before Pilate, his crucifixion, his final words from the cross, and his dying breath. 

Palm/Passion Weekend involves us as participants in the events yet to come, taking us on an emotional roller coaster ride as our joy quickly turns to sorrow. It is a ride many of us in our own lives have experienced as well as the joy we once knew gives way to the sorrow of grief and illness and brokenness and loss. Palm/Passion Weekend reminds us that it is a journey we do not walk by ourselves. Jesus walks the journey with us, experiencing the full depths of human suffering, even to the point of death on the cross, to free us once and for all for the joy of life in God’s kingdom. 

Commit yourselves this year to full participation in this most meaningful journey. Commit yourselves to join us in worship next weekend for Palm/Passion Weekend as the journey begins. It is a journey that takes us through the depths of sin and sorrow and into the joy and promise of everlasting life. It is a journey that promises to change our lives forever. Please come. Come and let God’s love change you. 

Becoming NEW + 

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