IRRICANA UNITED CHURCH
April 5, 2020 6th Sunday LENT
Minister: Rev. Ruth McArthur
BODY, SPIRIT AND SOUL CONNECT
Today on Palm Sunday we laugh and sing the stories from Matthew 21, about a donkey and even tell of other donkeys. We smile as we remember how happy everyone was as Jesus rode into Jerusalem – with his feet dragging on the ground! Every year from Voices United, number 124, we sing a song by Gordon Light and the Common Cup. He wrote, He came riding on a donkey, he came riding into town… It’s a fun song that makes us smile.
What else do we know of donkeys?
1. What do you call a donkey with three legs?
The Wonkey Donkey!
2. What do you call a baby girl donkey with long eyelashes? The Pinky, Blinky, Dinky Donkey
These are characters in The Wonky Donkey Series by Craig Smith, Katz Cowley; written in 2009 & 2019 from Scholastic Books Inc.In his book, Craig walks down a road and sees a wonky donkey. I am sure that the donkey makes Jesus smile. We are all special to Jesus who says let the children come to me. Some are small like dinky, some are wonky, and some are even honky tonky. That is worth celebrating – so we throw our coats on the ground for Jesus to walk on.
Welcome Everybody to a Palm Sunday Parade.
We wave bright cloaks or palm branches as we welcome Christ! Let us yell, laugh and run down the street – it is a party- Hosanna in the highest! Welcome, Jesus of Nazareth! Praying The Scriptures NIV We begin our Holy Week journey in exile from the temple by reading Psalm 118. God’s love endures for ever. God is my strength and my song. God is my salvation. And the gospel of Matthew 26 – we see Jesus take a cup; he gives thanks, and then he gives it to the disciples, saying, “Drink.’ This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you; I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” Later in the story Jesus pleads – stay, watch and pray with me. At the end we hear the cry, Jesus Remember me, when you come into your kingdom. For now, however, let us consider how it begins – a simple story, of Jesus riding into town on a donkey – we lift up ordinary life.
We are frail. We are human. Jesus knows that his disciples find the journey too hard. We see Judas betray Jesus, Peter denies Jesus and the disciples run away. Saddened, they have failed him. When do we fail in being brave? We journey together as imperfect humanity. We take the blood of the covenant and we re-live Jesus’ story. His destiny is to insure and assure us that we are not alone. We need that comfort now as we are isolated and afraid. We reach out our hand to pray for those who are afraid… we reach out! We lack trust and a vision of who is this Jesus – King of the Jews?
We too distance ourselves from God. We struggle with this Jesus. He asks us to stay. We want to stay. We take the blood of the covenant and we re-live Jesus’ story. His destiny to insure and assure us that we are not alone. We need that comfort now as we are isolated and afraid. We say, Jesus Remember Me, as you come into your Kingdom. We are never too far away, never too distant, never too much in the shadow to be living in the light of his life. Its tough right now for all of us, and more so for some than others.
How do we handle the fear? In Matthew 18, we hear, ‘Let the little children come to me’ and, ‘we come to the kingdom, as a child’. Right now, children and others are internalizing fears that are not healthy. My grandson after wrestling and running with his brother said, grandma, I have a sore throat and I am coughing – am I going to die? I don’t want to die. My older grandboy said, I am scared to come see you, grandma, I don’t want to make you sick and then you’ll die. ‘Ride on a donkey simplicity’, says we listen to our inner child. We are encouraged to talk about our fears and then begin to plan on how to be healthy as we look forward– planning to be healthy both mentally and physically.
After, our world will be different. Many of you shared that opinion; Monty said, this virus is a wake-up call. It is our call as followers of Jesus, to make it a ‘better’ different. Going into Holy week we bear witness to this rag-tag- bunch of disciples as they work through their fears. Will they re-gain their trust in God? Will they re-discover the strength they need to follow Jesus? Will we? The blood of the covenant has been poured. Life is meant to be lived to magnify the Lord, and our Spirits are to rejoice in God. Gratitude We live in God’s world and we are not alone. Even though, we are besieged and at war with a virus that knows no boundaries, still there are blessings. We are grateful for the many kindnesses that are happening around us.A Prayer for Healing
We pray for our people. We confess that we yearn for comfort and companionship and we want our friends and family nearer. God, we trust your will strengthen our resolve and lead us to the path of healing. We pray for those who are shut-in during this time and for others in our own community: we pray for Jack and Howard as they enter rehab and re-learn skills; we pray for those who seek healing; we pray for those who wait for surgery. We pray for Helen and all our caregivers. We pray for Brennan as she struggles with learning surgery skills as her schooling gets interrupted. We pray for the those having family far away. We pray for those who worry about family in the essential services. We reach out our hand to pray for those we feel need healing… in the silence of our hearts we reach out! We reach out in our sorrow for signs of hope in God’s world. Signs we may find in listening to Bill Withers’, Lean on me, when you’re not strong’. And I’ll be your friend I’ll help you carry on. This is a song we need right now – google it and let it build your strength. God Bless Bill unto Heaven. (google – lean on me original Bill Withers youtube). God we are in exile from our temple, and yet we do not feel alone. We are part of a community that cares and shares. As God loves us, we love God, and we turn to love one another. O God of the Journey make this an adventure and challenge of your people.
Angus prays, O Holy Father, may we find the wisdom in Canada to win against the virus. We ask blessings on Airdrie food bank who are undertaking to feed our KIK people; let us support them. God bless those in essential services – God speed to our farmers and ranchers – make their burden light. We pray through Jesus Christ… who taught us when we pray to say…the Lord’s Prayer.
We Sing We Shall go out with Hope of Resurrection…VU586 June Boyce Tillman, 1993,Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Benediction ‘Tis a gift to be simple, to be free, and to be our unique wonky selves. May we walk down the road and see a donkey, Hee Haw! Blessing May you cry and know all is well – all will be well. May you laugh and know that God laughs with you.
The Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God, and the Communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. (1Cor. 13:14) this week and forever more. Amen.
Dinosaurs don’t go who, they go ROAR!
What came first the chicken or the egg?
The chicken… God don’t lay no eggs!