Worship Companion – April 10 2022

Happy Palm Sunday!
This week we’ve got a great selection of resources to help you prepare for Easter and contemplate our Palm Sunday scriptures.
Title: Entry of Christ into Jerusalem [Click for larger image view]

Notes: Wilhelm Morgner, a German Expressionist painter, trained for the clergy, although he quickly turned to painting as his calling. His close identification with Jesus Christ manifested itself in works that expressed his powerful understanding of the Passion, exemplified here by his color-saturated vision of the Entry into Jerusalem. Sadly, he died a young man, one of millions, on the fields of Flanders during World War I. Still, his discipline to his work left enough paintings to allow reflection upon the creative response to a deep faith and love of Jesus Christ. Date: 1912 Artist: Morgner, Wilhelm, 1891-1917

Anchor Texts:
This week we’ll be looking first at the Triumphal entry story, as Jesus comes into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Why this odd scene? It is a prophetic picture of a king coming into the city in peace (because he is on a donkey and not a war horse). The original prophecy is from Zechariah 9:9. The second passage is the story of Jesus being anointed in a small town called Bethany. This is important because it is another kingly image, this time of the anointing of the king, but not by a priest, instead, it is by a woman of the lowest condition – a powerful picture of the kind of people Jesus came to serve and save as their King.
Questions to Ponder:
Have you noticed the recurring theme of Jesus’ kingship during Easter week? The scene on the donkey, the anointing at Bethany, and the crucifixion itself. (Jesus is “lifted up” i.e. enthroned on the Cross). Why is it important that we recognize he is King?
Why do you think the disciples were really upset about the “waste” of perfume in 26:8-9?
Why do you think Jesus said this woman’s story would be proclaimed wherever the Gospel is told (26:13)?
Do you remember what Hosanna means? Why do you think we have kept saying the Hebrew word for thousands of years instead of just translating it into English?
Does the crucifixion bother you? How so? How does meditating on it help us understand the “weight of sin?”
The Theme in Song:
“Celebration” only begins to capture the joy that this song exudes. It is a whole-hearted proclamation of the glory due to Jesus the King. Let’s be people that continue to run back to God and celebrate his goodness day after day because He is good and His mercy endures forever!

The Theme for Kids:
Hey Kids! Here is a great video that shows you the story of Jesus entering the City of Jerusalem as King. Though the people turn on their king just days later, it doesn’t mean He isn’t king, it means he loves his people so much that he would be willing to go to them and save them even though they are sinful and disobedient.

The Theme in Art:
Title: Entry into the City [Click for larger image view]

John August Swanson, Entry into the City, 1990

The bright colours of the people capture the liveliness of the crown this particular Sunday. The streets were full of excitement – “The King is coming!” What did this mean to the various people present? Some were filled with joy and hopes of liberation from the Romans. Some were afraid of battles and riots on the horizon. Some were jealous of the popularity of this itinerant back-water preacher from Galilee. Others gripped their spears and swords, ready to quell any hint of insurrection or rebellion. You can see it all if you look at this painting, and more besides. What does the coming of Jesus 2000 years ago mean to you as you ponder it today? Consider the strong contrast between Palm Sunday and the betrayal of Thursday evening, and the humiliation and execution of Friday morning.
Let’s let God prepare us this week for receiving the full story of Christ Jesus our savior into our hearts this Easter season.

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