Presenting kingship in a different way

Revd Hannah writes:

05.04.2020 Pew sheet

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.

This Sunday we start the journey together through Holy Week to Easter Day.  The path takes us through the heart of the Christian faith and offers us again a chance to pray, reflect, worship and grow in personal knowledge and  understanding of the message of Jesus Christ, which he both told in sayings and parables, and acted out in his suffering, death and resurrection.

So that we can all share this journey, we will be providing simple reflections and liturgies for use at home.

I have been reflecting this week on the word “different” and how differently we are being forced to live. Our usual routines of getting up, leaving the house and commuting to work or school or to meet family and friends has changed. Accepting these differences can be frightening but differences can offer opportunities to try new things and live in an altered way.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, he was presenting kingship in a different way. The people of the first century were used to a king riding into a city on a mighty steed. People were encouraged to cheer for a conquering king out of necessity and fear. The people who cheered as Jesus rode from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem were raising their voices in hopeful expectation. This man, Jesus, who had spoken so many times of the Kingdom of God coming near, could be the Messiah and he could be riding into the city to overthrow the ruling authorities. Jesus was offering something different and as we see through Holy Week, he was coming as a servant king. This is not what the people would have wanted. They wanted a conquering hero. The journey from elation on Palm Sunday to desolation on Good Friday as Jesus died on the cross must have been a rollercoaster of emotions for the disciples and the crowd who cheered Jesus’ arrival only a few days earlier. We can take the same journey in the week ahead as we think about how Jesus expressed his servant heart leadership, encouraging us to love God and love others. By washing the disciple’s feet, we are encouraged to serve our communities. In the garden he prayed “not mine will but yours be done”, he knew he would be sacrificially giving up his life on a cross.

So, as we come to terms with our “new normal” we have the chance this week to embrace once again the difference Jesus offers for our lives in his life, death and resurrection. I hope you will embrace this difference so that it might become part of your new normal.