The King is Coming, a Sermon for Palm Sunday

The King is Coming, a Sermon for Palm Sunday
Scripture: John 12:1-19; Zechariah 9:9-10

Offered Sunday, 3/29/2021 via Facebook Live at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida.

The King is coming
The people announced it.
It filled the streets like the perfume filled the house the night before.
“Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!”

The King is coming.
The disciples remembered it.
Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Hosanna! The King is coming, triumphant and victorious
Riding into Jerusalem just like Solomon did centuries before
Ending the dispute over who’s the one true King

Jesus, Jesus is the King of kings
Greater than the Roman war machine
Greater than the Pax Romana
With Jesus its Eternal Peace-
wrong made right through humility, and vulnerability, and sacrifice
Eternal Peace- Pax Eterna

Zechariah 9:10
He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war-horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations;
his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Hosanna! The King is coming. The Anointed One- the Christ
Anointed by Mary in gratitude and love for raising her brother Lazarus from the dead
Anointed by Mary, blessed to reign as King forever
Anointed by Mary, blessed to bear God’s grace as high priest forever
Anointed by Mary, a holy sacrifice anointed for death
The last sacrifice ever needed
A sacrifice so great it overcomes all sin, all death, for all time

Hosanna! The King is coming. The King over death.
Jesus raised Lazarus
Only a few days later he’ll lay down his own life and take it up again
Hosanna! The King over death. And he will raise us up as well.
Hosanna! The King over death.
All the little deaths. All the little injustices.
All the big deaths. All the big injustices.
Hosanna to the King over death.
Hosanna! Save now.

This is why so many are going after him.
He raised Lazarus from the dead.
This spectacular miracle.
This quick, spectacular fix.

This is what the people were testifying to.
Hosanna to the King of Israel. Hosanna to the King over death.

How many will go after him when his work becomes small?
When his work becomes slow?
When his work becomes sacrifice?

How many will go after him when his work includes our work?
When his work includes our “yes” – our time, our prayer, our money, our hands, our sacrifice
When the hungry come and Jesus says, “You feed them”
When the night of anguish comes and Jesus says, “stay awake, watch and pray with me”
When it’s time to deny ourselves, and take up our cross, and follow
Follow the King- the King of kings, the King of death, the King of sacrifice

Hosanna! The King is coming
The leaders said, “what can you do, the world has gone after him
Have you gone after Him?
Are you following him?
testifying to him?
serving him?
trusting him?

The King is still coming
The gracious King
The King of kings
The King of death
The King of sacrifice

Our humble King
Our King, triumphant and victorious
Let us go after Him

*********************************

You can find us live on Facebook Sundays at 9 AM and 10:30 AM, and Wednesdays at 8 AM.

© 2021 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayers based on Matthew 25.31-46

week 11Prayers Based on Matthew 25:31-46
The Sheep and the Goats

Prayer: All Brought to Light
Royal One, grant us strength
to serve and keep on serving
to risk and keep on risking
to love and keep on loving

Holy One, grant us faith
to stand, trusting all will be revealed
to bow, knowing all will be revealed

The hidden will be brought to light
hidden actions of our hands
hidden motives of our hearts
hidden words, hidden thoughts
your hidden presence

Find us gracious
Find us generous
Find us faithful

Lord, have mercy
Christ, have mercy
Lord, have mercy

Prayer: True Love
Merciful Jesus
Give us courage to deny privilege
to lay down favor and safety
in order to take up the cross of opportunity and justice

Merciful Jesus
Give us courage to deny consumerism
to lay down convenience and gratification
in order to take up the cross of sustainability and generosity

Merciful Jesus
Give us courage to deny comfort
to lay down apathy and ease
in order to take up the cross of service and true love

Merciful Jesus
Our King and our Neighbor in Need
Reveal your true love in us and through us
Faith and Works
Prayer and Action
Now and Forever
Amen
______________

For the next few months, I’ll be posting prayers to accompany Bishop Ken Carter’s Bible Study on Facebook. Each week, Bishop Carter will bring in a guest to speak about the passage. We’ll be walking through the last chapters of the Gospel of Matthew. 

You’re most welcome to read along and to join this Facebook discussion group. You don’t need to be a Methodist or attend a Methodist church. All are welcome and all means all.

May the grace of God’s word, the challenge, and the call, inspire us to great faith and great good works in Jesus’ name. – Lisa <

All Brought to Light © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
True Love © 2010 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

A Prayer for Veterans

800px-Korean_War_Veterans_Memorial_-_July_2012

Korean War Veterans Memorial, photo by Agamitsudo via Wikimedia Commons

Let us pause to honor, thank, and remember all who served in the military, living or dead.

Speak or comment below the names of veterans you know, including yourself if you served in the military.⁠⁠

Jesus, we hear your words, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13, NRSV)⁠

Jesus, we are grateful for those who are like you, those who sacrifice and serve for a greater good. Strengthen all we have mentioned and thousands more who put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety.⁠

Help all military personnel to serve with honor, wisdom, and compassion. Guard them against hard-heartedness, despair, and evil. ⁠

Bring help and healing to all who still struggle in body, mind, and spirit because of what they have experienced.⁠

Strengthen and bless military families, especially when they are separated one from another. Console and comfort military families, especially those who continue to grieve loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. ⁠

Surround us all with your protection. Fill us all with your grace. Lead us all with your truth and light.

Micah 4:1-4 NRSV
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.

God of All, it is your will for the nations to seek you and to know you.
It is your will for us to live together in peace, provision, and equity.

End the selfishness.
End the mistrust and misinformation.
End the violence.

Bring wholeness and hope to every system, relationship, and person broken by war.

Empower us all to pray and work for your promised peace.
Give us the courage to act and your wisdom to know what to do.

We ask this in the strong name of Jesus
Our Savior, our Lord
The Prince of Peace
Who taught us to pray…

Conclude with the Lord’s Prayer

********************
A Prayer for Veterans © 2019 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Prayer for the 19th Anniversary of September 11th Attacks

911-terror-attacks_3036315kWe come together with persons all over the world to remember the day our world changed. We come together in faith, in hope, in God’s infinite love.

Heavenly Father, we commend to your mercy and grace all who died in the September eleventh attacks and all who have died in the past nineteen years while laboring to end terrorism.
In New York City: 2,342 persons
In Arlington, Virginia: 184 persons
In Shanksville, Pennsylvania: 40 persons
411 New York City rescue workers that day plus so many more from the aftereffects
Thousands of military personnel and civilians

Over 70 countries lost loved ones that day: family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors, heroes. In the face of all this loss we claim your grace, your faithfulness, and your power to bring good out of evil.

Compassionate One, it’s been nineteen years, yet the pain is fresh for many. Comfort all who continue to mourn the loss of loved ones. Come with assurance and peace for all who remain traumatized, anxious, or fearful for the future.

Bring wholeness and hope to every broken place- to broken bodies, broken hearts, and broken spirits. To broken relationships, broken systems, and broken faith.

Our world remains a dangerous place, O God, but with you there is safety and shalom. With you there is hope. You are our Rock, our Shield, our Defender forever.

Draw together leaders of every nation. Give them ears to hear your wisdom and the courage to respond. Inspire them to work together for peace, justice, and freedom.

Strengthen all who risk their lives to protect others. Guard and favor all who work to make your world a place of peace.

God of the Nations, hear our prayer for our enemies and for ourselves. Help us love and pray for those who hate us. We claim your abiding, your humility, and your strength as we strive to fulfill this call.

Save us from revenge, false teaching, and blind suspicion. Help us recognize our contributions to conflict. Help us understand the hurt that feeds the hate.

Change the hearts of all who seek their way by evil and violent means, by coercion and corruption, including our own. Create in us clean hearts that beat with your unconditional compassion.

Leave no one in the dark, O God.
Fill us all with your light and make us all instruments of your peace.
Amen.
______________

9/11 Anniversary Prayer © 2011 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia and Nicole Sallee
Updated 2020
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.

Two Prayers Based on John 20-21

For the past few months, a couple of thousand folks have been reading and discussing a chapter a day from the Gospels as part of Summer in the Scriptures, sponsored by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.

I’ve been supplying a prayer for each day’s reading. 98 chapters = 98 prayers. Wow! Some have been brand new, but many were curated from prayers written over the last eleven years of this blog’s life. Again, wow! It’s not often I have a chance to see what seems to me small, isolated offerings come together like this.

Thanks for going on this journey with me. I pray it was blessing and goodness for you. Postings will be less frequent now that the project is finished.

Thanks also for being part of our community here. You are always welcome, wanted, and appreciated. – Lisa <><

Summer in the Scriptures John (18)Based on John 20:24-29
Thomas and Jesus

Jesus, you give me what I need
What I need to believe
What I need to live

Like my brother Thomas,
I lay the doubting down
You come for me
You want me as well
You want us all

The gift of your presence is for me
The gift of your peace is for me
So too the power of your Spirit
The very Breath of Life
Abundant Life in your name

Jesus, you give me what I need
Seeing
Signs
Spirit
Wounds
Words
Wonder
Peace
Power
Sending

Oh, My Jesus
My Lord and My God

Summer in the Scriptures John (19)Based on John 21

Cast your net again,
We know this familiar foolishness
So we cast it…
we cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
Suddenly! So many fish!

The cry goes up with our hope
It is the Lord! It is Jesus!

He sank down to the bottom
Down to the mud and the darkness
Down to the pain and the brokenness
Down to our level

Until he was lifted up- lifted up on a cross
Up went the fists
Up went the mocks
Up went the stares
Up went the sign
King of the Jews

Down came the hammer
Down came the tears
Down came the blood
Down came the love
Down to our level
buried beneath waves of fear and injustice and sin
Buried beneath earth

He did as he promised!
He is lifted up from the earth!
Up from the grave
Up goes the shout
Up goes the sun with the Son

Cast your net again, my Jesus
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
Draw us up from the bottom with you
Draw us up from the mud and the darkness
Draw us up from the pain and the brokenness
Draw us up from the selfishness and the loneliness
Draw us up from the fear and the hate and the sin and the death
Draw us up from the bottom with you

Cast your net again into the sea of humanity
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
Draw us up
Draw us in
We are caught in your saving embrace

Jesus says, “Now follow me.”
“Come, cast the net
Cast the net again and again and again and we will find some more
Cast it wide, drag it deep, sweep it around the sea
So many, so different, so beautiful
Use all your strength to bring them in
Have no fear, the net will not break.”

______________

What I Need © 2020 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Cast Your Net Again © 2000 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
You are welcome to use this work in a worship setting with proper attribution.
Please leave a comment for information and permission to publish this work in any form.