I taught in PEI on Sunday for Palm Sunday, and it was a privilege. We stayed with the liturgical year in focusing on the striking texts surrounding Palm Sunday.
Using the passage from Matthew 21 on the royal welcome into Jerusalem, I spoke about what happened, and what happens, when Jesus comes to the “city of peace” (spoken of in real terms and as a metaphor for the human community, and the individual human heart):
When Jesus comes, he brings a vision… that will change you.
When Jesus comes, he brings a battle… that will need you.
When Jesus comes, he brings a gift… that will heal you.
We moved in and out of the realities of Jesus prophetically embodying the nation of Israel, and what his coming meant. Then, we took into the wide world of today, and included the individual’s responses to God in these three arenas.
It was a blast telling some of my own journey as well, through some very intense spiritual encounters at the beginning of my faith that locked me in for the long haul, and some visions of how justice can be enacted by every man, woman and child in the world.
When Jesus comes, the “city of peace” gets disturbed and disrupted, but to the end of a glory we could not taste another way. Jesus spent the first night he came to the city of peace in Bethany, from “beth ani,” which means “house of death.” From death to life, it seems the journey will always be.
It was a fresh message, and it felt good to preface Easter, both for myself and the community there, by considering Jesus’ entry into the city.