This is a time of departure in Lent. We move in just a few week to Holy Week. The Passion of Christ will face us again.
Palm Sunday is a triumphal, all be it, unusual arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem. He comes on a donkey and not a white stallion. He comes in humility and love. He had compassion for the crowds. He comes into the city amidst hosannas and palm branches and he goes right to the temple. He enters the temple and then disappears from sight.
He doesn't take the earthly crown. He doesn't reign in an earthly kingd
om. Rather he has come in order that the Kingdom of God may arrive. The kingdom of God is diametrically in opposition to the earthly kingdom on earth. The political powers that rule the land. The religious leaders that have authority over lives. The social standards that give rise to right behavior and right speech are all superseded by a spiritual kingdom. A kingdom not of this world. It is a kingdom in this world as we live here, but it is not a kingdom of this world as we live and have our being in Christ.
Jesus enters Jerusalem, he enters the temple, and he leaves the temple and leaves Jerusalem. He enters the upper room and he sits down at the last meal with his disciples in Jerusalem. He leaves the meal to enter the garden of Gethsema
ne. He is taken from the garden by force and enters the court. He is taken from court and led to Calvary. He is taken from the cross and laid in the tomb. And on the third day he rose again according to the scriptures.
Coming and going is a common pattern for all of us. I expect your life is like mine filled with comings and goings.
In this regard I have a prayer for you as written by the psalmist:
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
from where will my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 He who keeps his people
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your soul.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.
This journey of faith has taken me to many churches and with many people. I want you to know how much I have enjoyed being with you. It has been such a privilege and Joy to be in your midst.
I commend to you your new pastor and your new journey in ministry together. You are and will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
So, It is my time of going. As I leave, as I depart I want to share with you this truth:
The Lord will keep you, guard you, protect you, and watch over you now and forevermore.
May God richly bless you! Amen