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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday blessing #7

On Palm Sunday Christians celebrate the Triumphal Entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, the week before his death and resurrection. For many Christian churches, Palm Sunday, often referred to as "Passion Sunday," marks the beginning of Holy Week, which concludes on Easter Sunday.

The Bible reveals that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him with waving palm branches, and by covering his path with palm branches. Immediately following this great time of celebration in the ministry of Jesus, he begins his journey to the cross. (from http://www.christianity.about.com/)
The biblical account of Palm Sunday can be found in
Matthew 21:1-11;
Mark 11:1-11;
Luke 19:28-44; and
John 12:12-19.

The Eastern Gate (or Golden Gate) is the oldest of the city gates and is located along the eastern wall of the Temple Mount. On Palm Sunday, Jesus rode into the city through the Eastern Gate. Christians contend the Eastern Gate, which has been sealed for nearly 12 centuries, will reopen upon the return of Christ.

Ezekiel 44:1-2
Then the man brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, the one facing east, and it was shut. The LORD said to me, "This gate is to remain shut. It must not be opened; no one may enter through it. It is to remain shut because the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered through it." (NIV)

A Palm Sunday Prayer
Thou who art the soul and heart of life, save us from fear -- the fear of days and nights yet to be, the fear of the known and the unknown, the fear that builds high walls around our spirits and our lives, the fear that closes in and envelops us, the fear that nibbles at the edges of every satisfaction. Free us from fear of failure and success, of shame and pain, of death and fear of life as well. Open our eyes that we may see thy glory in humbleness and simplicity, commonness strewn generously across our path all our days. May we recognize thee riding upon a simple beast of burden, down the crooked streets of Jerusalem. May we not require the palms of victory and praise, the accolades and shouts of the multitude to see thy glory in gentleness, patience, loving kindness and, yes, pain and sometimes death. Thy way of peace -- of faith, hope, and love -- still is our path, our joy, our way. Amen.
(David A. Johnson:  http://www.uua.org/)