How God’s Kingdom overturns injustice – Mark 11, Part 5

In the previous post, we learned that, just as the crowds proclaimed on the first Sunday when they shouted, “Blessed is the coming Kingdom of our father David,” Jesus brings the Kingdom of God in our lives. But God’s Kingdom is not just within people, it is also within cultures and societies.  Yes, God wantsContinue reading “How God’s Kingdom overturns injustice – Mark 11, Part 5”

The Kingdom of God is within you – Mark 11, Part 4

What is the Kingdom of God? Jesus himself taught about it, almost from the very beginning of his ministry.  As we continue studying the events of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry on the very first Palm Sunday, we’ve been following Mark’s account in Mark 11. Mark tells us that the people in the crowd, as Jesus rodeContinue reading “The Kingdom of God is within you – Mark 11, Part 4”

The surprising way Jesus fulfilled prophecy on Palm Sunday – Mark 11, Part 3

Jesus was the Messiah, but he was not the Messiah the Jews were looking for. When the Jews interpreted messianic passages like Psalm 118, which they quoted on the original Palm Sunday, they concluded that the Messiah was going to be a king of the line of the great king David.  This new king wouldContinue reading “The surprising way Jesus fulfilled prophecy on Palm Sunday – Mark 11, Part 3”

Jesus was and was not the Messiah? – Mark 11, Part 2

How does my experiment with the American flag relate to Palm Sunday? You can read about that experiment in the previous post.   As we begin to answer that question, turn with me to Mark 11, and read the story of the first Palm Sunday.  We are studying Mark’s account of the story of Jesus’ TriumphalContinue reading “Jesus was and was not the Messiah? – Mark 11, Part 2”

My American flag experiment – Mark 11, Part 1

I did a little experiment this past fall.  It was a sociological and theological experiment.  At first, I didn’t tell anyone about this experiment.  Not even my wife. I knew that if I told her, the experiment would be shut down fast. To introduce the experiment, I have a question for you.  How many of youContinue reading “My American flag experiment – Mark 11, Part 1”

What’s so special about Palm Sunday? – Mark 11, Preview

We observe Palm Sunday every year, but did you ever wonder why? I get why we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and of course his death and resurrection. Those are, by far, the three most momentous events in his life. But why Palm Sunday? It’s not nearly as important as Christmas and Easter, right? WhyContinue reading “What’s so special about Palm Sunday? – Mark 11, Preview”

How Jesus matters during times of crisis – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 5

When I think about this coronavirus crisis, I think about how important healthcare workers are to our well-being. I think about how I pray every day for a vaccine to be developed more rapidly than medical scientists believe is humanly possible. I think about how we need to continue social distancing, even when we’re allContinue reading “How Jesus matters during times of crisis – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 5”

Would Jesus say Christianity is polluted or pure? – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 3

Have you ever wondered if Christianity in our day and age is polluted? Or is it pure? These are wide statements, and Christianity is so diverse that one word, like “polluted” or “pure” cannot possibly describe the whole of it. But take a look at trends in the faith. Consider the larger movements within theContinue reading “Would Jesus say Christianity is polluted or pure? – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 3”

Jesus’ first kingly act? He goes to the market! – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 2

In my county, we have many farmers’ markets and bazaars, places where people can rent space, set up a stand and sell their produce or wares. The three most popular and busy are probably Central Market in the city, Green Dragon in Ephrata, and Root’s in Manheim, though there are others. They are incredibly funContinue reading “Jesus’ first kingly act? He goes to the market! – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 2”

The UNtriumphal entry of the unexpected king – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 1

Picture an inauguration or coronation ceremony. What images come to mind? Grand balls. Flashy banners and decor. Lavish parties with bountiful plates of food and dignitaries dressed to impress. The goal is a display of power, wealth, and victory. Today I want to give you a totally different picture of a coronation that would ultimatelyContinue reading “The UNtriumphal entry of the unexpected king – Matthew 21:1-17, Part 1”