Palm Sunday: When Jesus Comes

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.


Sheltering Mercy: Prayers Inspired by the Psalms

Sheltering Mercy, along with its companion volume, Endless Grace, helps us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. This book contains 75 prayers drawn from Psalms 1-75, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning in the Psalms. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

This artful, poetic, and classic devotional book features compelling custom illustrations and foil-stamped hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms.