The Inverted Triumph

THE INVERTED TRIUMPH – SPINNING GOLD FROM STRAW – SERMON RESOURCES
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ENGAGING THE PRACTICAL TIP

This past Sunday, Pastor Anna focused on Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem on “Palm Sunday”. She talked about how it was the triumphal entry that the people expected, and how it wasn’t. After entering Jerusalem and entering the Temple courts, Jesus saw that it was late and returned to Bethany, where he and the disciples were staying. This event presents us with the question of what kind of a king do we want? Do we want a king who rides into town on a war horse with an army behind him with his defeated enemies in tow, or do we want the humble king who rides into town on a donkey, preparing for the last week of his life before he is crucified on a cross.

We will use the story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem from chapter 10 of the gospel of Mark for this week’s meditation. While doing so, consider what kind of leader you want to follow. Jesus stands in stark contrast to the kinds of leaders we read about in history books.

  • He told his people to love their enemies
  • He said that he had nowhere to lay his head, unlike the rulers of the day who lived in palaces
  • He dined at least as much with prostitutes and “sinners”, as he did with religious leaders
  • He told people to give away their wealth and follow him
  • He taught his people to pray to be forgiven as we forgive others
  • He told his people to pick us their own cross and follow him

During this week when we especially recall Jesus’ decision to be faithful to his calling, to a gruesome death on a Roman cross, let us consider what he stood for and asked us to do when following him on a path to the Father.

So confident in God’s love for us and his mercy towards us, read the following slowly 2 or 3 times, pausing in places where the Spirit seems to be moving.

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,

“Hosanna!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

Mark 10: 1-11

Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: spiritual.practices@annarborvineyard.org.

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