Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for April 14
Rev. Hardy Kim, preaching

We’ve been on this journey toward Jerusalem and Jesus’ reckoning with the powers of his world for quite some time now. I know that so many of us are ready for the celebrations of Easter and all the life and joy of the new season that’s just ahead of us. And we get a bit of that celebration on Palm Sunday, don’t we? Our worship will be filled with the smiling faces of children and their palms!

The story of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem has a bit of that celebration too. There are crowds there to welcome him. But not everyone is happy. There’s some debate about whether the celebration is really warranted. What’s going on here?

As we get ready for Holy Week—and as we look forward to Easter—this is a good place to pause and consider what Jesus is really doing, and what we are called to celebrate in him. I hope you’ll join us to start off this holiest of weeks so we can, all together, do our best to focus on the hope that Jesus offers us.

Theme for Sunday

Palms of Peace

Are they the green and waving fronds
of triumph at the city gate,
lively now, but soon to wither,
crumble into dust?
Or are they palms that stretch,
though smashed and broken,
to embrace this withered world
and tender it to late
yet lasting life?
     —J. Barrie Shepherd
Questions for Reflection
  • What do you enjoy about the period of waiting for a big event or celebration?
  • Has there ever been a big event or celebration that ended up not going the way you planned? How did you end up feeling about it?
Luke 19:28-40

After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.” Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
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