Good Friday – The Tree of the Cross

‘Behold the wood of the cross,’ we say on Good Friday. ‘Touch wood,’ we say on any day of the year, reaching out for the nearest piece of wood as an extension of the wood of the cross. When we cross our fingers it is a sign of the cross we are making.

The cross is a tree. This tree represents the union of God and man in Christ, and the history that creates this union, and the gospel that reveals this history.

The cross is a representation of the figure of a man with his arms extended upwards. Moses held up his arms until the battle against the Amalekites was won and Israel was saved (Exodus 17.11.-12) in battle. ‘He opened wide his arms for us on the cross.’ His arms are up in welcome and to give us his protection. The Lord extends his arms out in order to save us and give us his shelter. He extends his covenant to include us, so we are covered and protected. He holds out his arms as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and as the Holy Spirit gives us his protection, portrayed in our West window as the dove with outstretched wings.

The Lord opens wide his arms for us also on occasions when his arms are not mentioned. In the Transfiguration on the mountain the disciples see the Lord radiant with glory, with Elijah on one side and Moses on the other. Peter wants to recognise their dignity by setting up awnings to give them some shade. By his reply the Lord indicates that it is he who gives Peter and the Disciples shelter. The Lord is our covering (kippur), the covenant and the atonement that keep us safe. He raises his arms so that we can all come in under his coat. Moses and Elijah, the prophets and the law, are two wings of this shelter. Elijah stands on one side of Jesus, Moses on the other, so that the three of them form a triptych, in which Elijah and Moses reflect different aspects of Christ, so that we can see better who Christ is because we can see these two aspects of his identity in these two other figures.  The elements are no threat to the Lord, for they are simply his obedient servants. But the Lord gives us our shelter not so much from the elements, but from some of the worst consequences of the disorder in creation that result from our failure to rule it well. The Lord gives us shelter. He gives us a place to be. That place is with him. He is that place.

The cross as staff and symbol of authority

The cross is the staff Jesus carries. A staff indicates who is in charge. It tells us that of all the people gathered here, this one is the king. His sceptre identifies him. Thy rod and staff strengthen me (psalm 23.4). As this staff, the cross is the tangible manifestation of his authority. When the master holds his staff out before him, he decides how to separate those who are ready from those who are not, and gives judgement in favour of those who are right over those who are not. As this staff the cross is able to cut through anything and so to separate what has been lumped together, mixed and confused. In the hands of the good judge it therefore brings clarity to everything it moves through. The sword is a staff that has become a blade sharpened to separate sinew from bone. The shepherd moves through his flock, moving his staff left and right so that each animal is directed to the right or left and so either into the pen or back out into the field. He may divide them into those who will breed and those who will not, those who will stay and those who will go. The Lord judges and decide which is the right place for us to be.

The Tree is the Gate of Heaven

The rood screen is a tree. A rood is the trunk of a tree. The tree opens itself for us so that we can step through it into the company of God’s holy people in heaven. The tree is the gate. Since it had never opened before, we had not noticed it or realised that it was a gate.

In our church we go through the rood screen up into the sanctuary, into the redeemed Garden of Eden, where we join the choir before the altar and throne of the Lord. This garden in a courtyard is paradise and a model of creation redeemed and restored. The rood screen has a double door which you go through as you step up into the choir. The screen and almost all surfaces in the choir are carved or decorated with twining plant motifs indicating that we are witnessing the arrival of new life and so of spring. The Lord opens the gate of heaven to let us in. The cross is this gate.

The Cross embodies the Lord

Jesus is on the cross. He appears as man without God, and so as man in desolation, left alone with death, quite helpless. The Lord is hung up as a thing discarded and rejected by all men, too repulsive to be tolerable to human society. He is a visible warning that this way is closed, barred by this body left to die and become repulsive in this most public manner.  Our dying Lord becomes indistinguishable from all horror, and from death itself. He looks as twisted as the serpent which represents death, and the destruction of all that is good. He is this image and the summary of man contorted by all the horror pitched against man. But Jesus is not solely on the cross.

We must also say that the cross is Jesus. The cross is a representation of man reduced to the simplest elements, the Son of Man as stick-figure. Indeed the cross is two figures superimposed, Man who is with God and God who is with Man. The cross is not only man in desolation. It is also man with God and glorified by him.

On Good Friday, we repent of having abandoned man. We admit that this is what we have done. We are the ones who have driven our fellow man out, rejected and abandoned him. We decided that he was no good. We made ourselves his judges and condemned him and so usurped the judgement of God. The man we have judged and sent away appears us abandoned by God. We are mistaken. God has not abandoned him. Our own people are divided, excluded, and left desolate by us, but not by God. Our judgement of them rebounds on us. The crucifixion shows that it is us who are tied up. We are pinned to this cross of our own making. We are now hanging and squirming because our sin fixes us there: our fear, aggression and delusion hold us. This cross to which we have fixed those we have condemned has not made us free. The very reverse has happened. By condemning and binding them, we have become bound. Next to the cross to which we have attached them is the cross to which we have bound ourselves. Both are our work. Thinking to free ourselves from the man we despise, we have bound ourselves. We used the power of binding and loosing in order to bind the other man and loose ourselves. But in doing so, we have bound ourselves just as much as we have him. Who will rescue him from us and raise him out of our power? Who will come to break our grip, lift us up out of our bonds and so rescue us? Who has the authority and the power to reverse what we have done? Who can step into our place and perform what we couldn’t? Only the Son of Man who is the Son of God can be what man may be, and do what man has been given to do. Thus the Son of Man steps into our bonds, in the place in which the bonds on us are tightest and most deathly. Then when they are fully tightened around him, they break. They could hold us, but not him.

During Holy Week and Good Friday in particular we call the Lord to free man from the cross to which we have nailed him. We name particular people and groups of people, whom we have despised and rejected. Now on this day we articulate their cry of dereliction and their complaint to God against us. We call them to forgive us, and we call the Lord to release them and to release us from the judgement by which we have bound both them and us. We ask the Lord to rescue our victims from us, to break our power over them. We ask God to rescue us from our sin. And the Lord pulls them up out of our power and so free them, and he pulls us out of our own misused power and so frees us. Our power pulls us down into destruction and death; God’s power pulls us up, out of our own manic and destructive grip and sets us up where we are safe from ourselves with him and so are free.

Christ hangs on the cross as Daniel stands in the fire, unmoved. Though the fire is all around them, precisely where Daniel and his companions are, the fire does not burn. It doesn’t burn them because they are proofed by the holiness of God. They are untouchable for, being contiguous with God, nothing created can touch, that is, harm them. The glory of God has proofed them against all other forces. The forces of destruction cannot get near them. Since they are unmoved by it, the fire raging around only reveals their inviolability and invulnerability. It glorifies them.

Jesus Christ takes our place on our cross. This man stands there in the place where the desolation is worst. The desolation rages against him and all around him, but it cannot consume him. As he stands there, the desolation is revealed to be powerless against him, so it reveals his invincibility. Rather than destroying him, it frames him and shows us who he is. And it shows us that he is with us, and will not separate himself nor be separated from us by any other power. Where he is, we are. Where that glory is, there he holds us with him, so that his glory spreads to us. The resurrection is there in the cross all the time. The resurrection arrives not by running away from the cross, or being extracted from it, but by enduring it, until the cross has proofed us against all the powers of destruction, and those powers themselves are exhausted and broken. It is the resurrection that makes the passion and its enduring possible. The resurrection vindicates the cross, shows us that the glory is right there and always has been.

The cross is one man without God, who stands in for all men without God. And the cross is God with man and present as man to man. God is there as one man is with another. This God does not give up on man or let himself be sent away. Since God does not leave man even at this point of desolation and horror, the cross establishes that God does not leave man. Man cannot make God give up on him. Man cannot revolt or repulse God. God is the basis on which man may be discovered, and any man may come to know another. God is the companion of man. Man cannot be thought, and may not think of himself, without God. Man may or may not be ready for this companionship, able to acknowledge it and accept it, but the companionship is already established ahead of him, displayed here for us publicly by the cross in the unity of these two figures, the bound and desolate, and the invincibly enduring. That man may be abandoned or rather could have been abandoned, can only be thought because this event establishes that man is not abandoned. God will not give him up and will not be sent away by him. We do not have the power to make God give up. He cannot be made to change his mind by anything we do, no matter how appalling that may be. God is unsendawayable.

Man is present to God, and God to man. When man calls, God hears, no matter how lowly or how wicked that man is. God cannot be removed. Where we are, he is already. We may not perceive, be certain about or have any knowledge of his absence or his presence. There is no measure of his proximity. We are not able to discern the slightest trace of him, but he is where we are, for we are unable to create for ourselves any place which he has not already prepared for us. Man cannot remove God from man. There is no man without God, for no man is capable of overcoming God’s resolution to be the companion whom we have been made for. The cross is a tree, and the tree is the meeting place. The tree itself is a representation of the two us together, so when anyone looks they alternately see one figure and then two. They see man, and then they see man with God. They see the Lord, and then they see man with him.

Prayers for Here and Now   Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer and Evensong in two minutes

Prayers for Here and Now   Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer and Evensong in two minutes

Here are short versions of the daily prayers said in this church. You can read them and pray them out loud here and now. When you do this you will be keeping company with all the Christians and saints who have said these same prayers here for many centuries. When you pray here, you pray with them and become part of their good company. When you pray you are also speaking for all your contemporaries, saying for them those things which they are not able to say for themselves.

If there are two or more of you, one of you can read the first line (in plain type) and the other reads the second line (in italic) and then read alternate lines. A prayer in italics can be read by both (or all) of you together.

Morning Prayer can be read anytime in the morning. Midday Prayer can be read any time between 11am and 3pm. Evensong can be read any time after 3pm.

Each set starts with two psalms and a canticle, which are followed by prayers. You can add your own prayers, in silence if you like, or you could say any of prayers set for the days of the week (Intercessions for Here and Now).

Read slowly. Each sentence, and each full stop, has its own moment. Imagine you are walking along with a small child in one hand and someone much older than yourself in the other. Read at their pace so they can take in what they are hearing.

Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them

Continue reading “Prayers for Here and Now   Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer and Evensong in two minutes”

Intercessions for Here and Now

Monday
True Worship

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth (Psalm 34.1).
I will declare thy name unto my brethren; in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee (Psalm 22.22).
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God Col 3.16)
Lord, by your mercy reveal to us your gospel. Save us from the power of all untruths and release us from all that separates us from you.
O Lord let thy mercy lighten upon us
And grant us thy salvation
1. Lord, give us the grace you gave to all other generations of Christians. Let us proclaim your gospel with them and join our voices to theirs in your worship.
We tell you the good news
God has made Jesus, whom we crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2.36)

What God promised to our fathers
He has fulfilled for us by raising up Jesus (Acts 13.32-33)

We crucified him
But God raised from the dead (Acts 4.10)

We were buried with him through baptism
So that just as Christ was raised from the dead we will be raised too (Romans 6.4)

The Christ who descended
Is the same Christ who ascended above all heavens to fill the entire universe (Eph 4.10)

There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved
Thou only, O Christ, art most high in the glory of God the Father

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January – Epiphany

2018 is Year B in the Revised Common Lectionary. Year B is the year of the Gospel of Mark, interrupted and supplemented by the Gospel of John. Although the Church of England introduces its own idiosyncratic variations and so does not always follow the RCL, this is the Lectionary of the Church of England. Here are some notes on themes that arise from the four sets of readings for each month.  I have missed Advent, so I’ll start with January and Epiphany.

Epiphany of the Lord January 6, 2018

Isaiah 60:1-6            Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14   Ephesians 3:1-12    Matthew 2:1-12

When they saw that the star had stopped they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother and they knelt down and paid him homage.

Baptism of the Lord  January 7, 2018  First Sunday after the Epiphany

Genesis 1:1-5           Psalm 29      Acts 19:1-7

Mark 1:4-11    When Jesus had been baptised he came up from the water. Suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God (and thus the army of the Lord, moving up and down the road) descending like a dove. ‘This is my Son, the beloved’. The first reading is Genesis 1 – the Spirit of God hovered over the waters. (The RCL gives us ‘a wind from God swept over the face of the waters’). The psalm is psalm 29 – ‘The Lord sits enthroned above the flood… The voice of the Lord is upon the waters’. The waters are those forces of creation that sometimes become unruly. When they surge up wildly and threaten us, a word from the Lord subdues them and they become peaceful again. The promise of the Lord is that they will never again threaten creation. Yet the unruliness of man, and hid failure to act as good lieutenant does result in creation becoming violent and chaotic.

Second Sunday after the Epiphany    January 14, 2018

1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20)    Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18     1 Corinthians 6:12-20

John 1:43-51  You will see greater things you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man

Third Sunday after the Epiphany    January 21, 2018

Jonah 3:1-5, 10        Psalm 62:5-12          1 Corinthians 7:29-31              (RCL) Mark 1:14-20)

John 2.1-11    Wedding at Cana

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany   January 28, 2018

Deuteronomy 18:15-20           Psalm 111           1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Mark 1:21-28  In the synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. What have you to so with us, have you come to destroy us? It threw him into convulsions and crying with loud voice, came out of him… Who is this who commands even unclean spirits?

Candlemas – Presentation of the Lord in the Temple   February 2, 2018

Malachi 3:1-4           Psalm 84 or Psalm 24:7-10       Hebrews 2:14-18

Luke 2:22-40   Simeon and Anna

Epiphany

Epiphany means ‘revelation’. The revelation of the Lord goes on through the year. It starts at Advent at the beginning of the Church year, and then when the Lord appears at his nativity, in the manger in the stable. But first Epiphany is the moment when the Wise Men come to do him homage and so reveal his royal identity to us. This child is our King. The Epiphany continues in his presentation in the temple at Candlemas (2 Feb), and again when (in Luke 2) when the twelve year old boy is taken up to the temple for Passover, and is found among the teachers of the law are gathered around while the young Jesus is sitting in the middle.

The Lord is recognised, brought to the front and lifted up with his parents, by those waiting for him in the temple. Every Christian service is a presentation of our work before the Lord and before the world. There the Lord, and everyone else, will see it for what it is. There is a presentation in the temple, and it us who are being presented. Christ presents us to his Father, and the Father receives us from him. And we also lift each other up and present one another to the Lord. This is part of the process of our sanctification, and will be its climax too.

The Revelation – epiphany – of the Lord continues every Sunday when the Gospel is read. The Lord reveals himself, instalment by instalment. From Pentecost the Lord prepares and reveals his Body through the ministry of the Apostles and on through all subsequent generations of the Church, down to us.  The Epiphany continues through the ministry and increasingly through the passion of the Lord which we follow in Lent. It makes itself bright for a moment in the Transfiguration which we read in Lent and again in the summer. All these scenes appear because people cluster round the Lord, so we see the Lord at the centre and all the others, the Marys, the disciples, the sick, the teachers of the law, around him. As they look at him, they frame him for us, so we can identify him. Some of these scenes are displayed in the images in our church windows. We see the Lord at the centre in the last supper and the disciples around him. All these are epiphanies. All these people, though they did not intend to, reveal the identity of the Lord – even Judas and Herod and Pilate, even the two thieves on crosses on either side, and the guards on duty outside the tomb. When the stone is rolled back, and Jesus is gone, yet there are two angels sitting at either end of the tomb, framing the place that could not contain him.

Where we see the Lord, we usually see three figures. We see the Lord and we see a figure on his right and on his left, looking inwards towards him. Their job is to frame the Lord, so we can see who he is. They are there for our benefit. There may be groups of witnesses framing him: the nativity scene fills up with Mary and Joseph, animals, shepherds, angels and kings, all looking in towards the Lord, leading our eyes inwards so that our gaze comes at last to him. They do this for us. And we do this for others. We stand on one side or the other, gazing and adoring, so that our orientation draws other people in to see Jesus and to realise who he is. We are witnesses because we frame the view with our bodies, and draw people toward him with our voices and songs. We do this whenever we worship together in church. But this becomes obvious, when we take that worship out with us into our public spaces, and stand before the Lord, by our bodies drawing the gaze of the world. We draw their gaze away from the grotesque spectacles displayed on screens and in shops, and towards the true spectacle, the true scene, the epiphany of the Lord with his people.

We are the body of Christ, and as Christ’s body, we are the present form of the revelation of the Lord. He shows us to them, in the hope that they will join us and become members of this body, and so become the Lord’s epiphany to the world. We are the body of Christ. We are the first instalment, the dark, still dirty, body but nonetheless the body that will be glorious, and is now being made glorified through all these confrontations and suffering.

The Epiphany we see before us

Anyone who comes into a church should be able to see the cross straightaway. The cross should always be in front of us when we worship the Lord, because it is the basic identifier of which lord it is that we are worshipping. We worship the Lord who was crucified. With this sign we indicate that we worship this Lord because, though he allowed us to do our utmost against him, we have not been able to break his commitment to us. We see the altar or table on which the bread and cup are set at Eucharist, and which have candles on either side of them. We should see may only see the screen on which the words of our worship songs are displayed. But at various times of the year we see a prepared scene. At Christmas we see the nativity scene of the stable, with the figures of the status, working in from the outside, we see, angels, ox and ass, and shepherds and a lamb, Joseph and Mary and at the centre the infant Jesus. But at various points of the year we also take these scenes outside with us so they become visible to our fellow townspeople. We take the nativity scene of stable and manger out into our town centre in the days running up to Christmas, and then take out the Wise men so it becomes the Epiphany scene. In the same way in Holy Week we will follow the stations of the cross, in church or in some public space, and so we follow the steps of the Lord’s passion publicly, so anyone in our town can see and follow too.  At Easter itself we may set up some form of Easter garden, which will frame the cross and the tomb before which the action takes place. This passion and crucifixion are all signs and demonstrations that he is a king, and is our King, and they are demonstrations that we cannot break his power, that he will exercise his power for us, for our salvation, in order to make us his, so that we may be the people of his kingdom.

VIGIL 2016 Prayers 1

O Lord open thou our lips  –   And our mouths shall shew forth thy praise

O God make speed to save us –  O Lord make haste to help us

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end amen

Praise Ye the Lord –  The Lord’s name be praised.

For many centuries, Christians have prayed in this place, for themselves, for their neighbours and for the world, and they have stood here as a witness to this city and to the whole nation. As long as Christians have done this, the country has prospered and been at peace. So we meet here under the eyes of the saints of this cathedral and hope to pass on the whole blessing of the gospel to our nation. As long as we remain faithful, this country will continue to prosper and be at peace.

At this time of year, at Lent, we prepare to follow the passion of our Lord. During this fast we take up the discipline of prayer and penitence. We intercede and we repent. With the words of God we speak to the world, and with the prayers of the world we speak to God. We say whatever should have been said, but has not been, and we repent on behalf of all those so caught in sin that they are not yet able to repent for themselves. We speak for them as well as for ourselves.

We pray in particular for our public servants. We pray that God would give them confidence in their office and in the authority given to them to carry it out. We pray that they would uphold the law, and protect the nation from all attempts to impose other laws and ideologies. We pray that they will uphold the law and perform their office with a respect and affection for the whole people of this country, not despising any, but working truly for the common good.

Continue reading “VIGIL 2016 Prayers 1”

Eucharist – What does taking part in the Eucharist mean to me?

In the Eucharist we come into the presence of the Lord and all his redeemed creatures.

In the Eucharist God comes to us, to mankind. Heaven comes down to earth, and the two are joined. This reveals us that the world is God’s good place for us and that is it is being redeemed, and that it is not a mistake and will not be abandoned.  The limits of our material world now open to reveal the beginning of a creation, in which earth is in permanent relationship with heaven, and always being renewed from it. Our prayers rise up to reach heaven, and the servants of God come down to us, bringing all the good gifts of the Spirit to make us holy.

In Christ’s presence we are free. Our confinement is over and there is no one telling us to be quiet. We can be thankful and joyful and we can sing, and do so with people who share the same joy and who sing with us, ‘with one accord’. We sing ‘Thou only, O Christ, art most high in the glory of God the Father…’ In other words, there is only one Lord. Though there are many masters and authorities, they are all pretenders. In worshipping Christ we reject the claims of all the power-mongers and ‘gods’ of the present. This worship tells the truth, liberates us from falsehood, and this is a huge relief.  Continue reading “Eucharist – What does taking part in the Eucharist mean to me?”

Mission – What is the mission task facing the Church of England?

The task of the Church of England is to proclaim the Gospel, now and always.

Christians are blessed. We have been made happy, and we are glad to share this happiness. It would be strange if we did not do so. We simply pass on what we ourselves have received, from the Lord. We have been searched for, found, rescued and forgiven; now we may also go searching for, and offer forgiveness to, anyone we encounter. The Lord has commanded us to do so.

God loves us. We are loved and empowered to love and to enable one another to flourish in God’s love. The Christian community is the communion of love, sourced and refreshed by God’s love for us. This love enables all our relationships with friends and opponents, and enables our love to endure through all difficulties.  Continue reading “Mission – What is the mission task facing the Church of England?”

Vocation – What is the calling of a priest in the Church of England today?

Let us start with ‘vocation’. Who calls, and who is called? The Lord calls. He calls us. Along with all creation, he calls us into existence, and we have our existence just because God calls us. The Lord calls man, and in calling him, gives him his life. He calls each of us, and calls us to life with him and in communion with all others. The Lord continues to call until, at last, we hear and respond. As we hear and reply, we discover how to live well, and live well together. Not to hear the call of God, to confuse it with the voices of other powers with their political demands, is to live against the grain of creation and so to create difficulties not otherwise there. But we may reply to God’s call, and do so with thankfulness, with curiosity, and with our own demands. Having heard him, we may respond to him and make our requests and the Lord hears our call and receives our prayers and thanksgiving. The Son has heard the call of the Father, and made our reply to him, and so in Christ the conversation between God and man is underway. Continue reading “Vocation – What is the calling of a priest in the Church of England today?”

Intro to The Christian Year – Around the year, through the Lectionary

The Church follows the Lord on a public year-long pilgrimage through the fasts and feasts of Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity.

The Church is the body of Christ passing through the world. When people see us processing through our town centres they are able to acknowledge that it is our Christian witness that we are bringing them. Christian worship is a public demonstration that God brings all contraries together, and puts them face-to-face in reconciliation, and side-by-side in fellowship. The world that looks on can see this meeting and, if it wishes, recognise this reconciliation and decide that it wants to become part of it.

In some seasons the church is a large and noisy demonstration passing through a crowded town centre. During the feasts of the Church year we are celebrating and on carnival. The world will part on each side to let us through and some will join us as we go.  We bless the world by greeting everyone as Christ’s future people. We greet them as examples of Christ’s body rejected, lost and forlorn, and we greet them as future members of his body redeemed, restored and made joyful.

At other times, during the fasts, we are on a demonstration of our public repentance and remorse. We are going out into neighbourhood and nation to bring them comfort and to repent for not having brought that comfort to them sooner. In our public processions we sing and bless. We sing psalms and hymns in alternation. We pray and intercede, kneeling together and keeping silence for long moments. So the form of our progress is simultaneously the way of the resurrection and glory, and the way of the cross and shame. As we go, the cross alternates with the glory, so at any one moment we are either repentant or joyful. Continue reading “Intro to The Christian Year – Around the year, through the Lectionary”

Lent & Easter 5. Palm Sunday – Entry to Jerusalem

The sixth Sunday of Lent is Palm Sunday. The Lord rides into Jerusalem. We will read the short version of this entry from Mark, but here is the longer one from Matthew:

When they had come near Jerusalem … Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey

The disciples brought the donkey and its foal… and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 

Matthew points out that the Lord is now doing what Zechariah said he would:

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

The Lord is at war, riding out to confront the malevolent forces arrayed against mankind. But this king is so confident in his victory that he does not ride a war horse but a much more peaceful animal.

Continue reading “Lent & Easter 5. Palm Sunday – Entry to Jerusalem”