Encouragement for the Journey 29 March 2015

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Encouragement for the Journey 29 March 2015

Encouragement for the Journey

Palm Sunday 2015 (3)

Greetings fellow traveller,

Last Tuesday I watched on TV, the Black Caps play South Africa in the Cricket World Cup Semi Final. The sound of jubilation and scenes of mass celebration when NZ batsman Grant Elliot hit the winning runs was truly amazing. The following day, while travelling to St Aidans, I heard one radio commentator describing the moment NZ won the game, as a spiritual experience.

I readily accept that spirituality comes in various forms and practices. However, while reflecting and preparing for            our Palm Sunday Celebration today, I asked myself a question; which was more intense the level of emotion on the road to Jerusalem or at Eden Park last Tuesday? Now factually I will never know, but I do see similarities. At Eden Park, some took off their coats and shirts and waved them around their heads, while in the triumphal entry story, people took off their cloaks and threw them on the ground. Also in both happenings, there was a verbal expression of joy and celebration.

Another interesting similarity is that the media are portraying Grant Elliot as the saviour, because he was the one who hit the winning runs, thus ensuring the Blacks Caps are in the Cricket World Cup final. Then in the Triumphant Entry story, the crowd shouts ‘Hosanna’ which means save, rescue, and saviour, as Jesus rides along on a colt,

Our emotions are part of what makes us human, and in the Triumphant Entry story, some religious leaders want Jesus to tell his disciples to ‘cool it’ and keep quiet. Jesus has a wonderful answer,” if they were silent, then the stones on the road would break into joy.

I sense that the crowd at Eden Park on Tuesday had to celebrate, just as those early disciples had to celebrate. You and I need moments to celebrate, to rejoice and be glad, this we do in and through Christ as part of our spiritual DNA. A hymn we will sing this morning from Shirley Murray expresses this so well:

Give thanks for life the measure of our days,          

mortal, we pass through beauty that decays,

yet sing to God our hope, our love, our praise

Give thanks for those who made their life a light

caught from the Christ – flame, bursting through the night,

who touched the truth, who burned for what is right


And for our own, our living, and our dead,

thanks for the love by which our life is fed,

a love not changed by time or death or dread.


Give thanks for hope, that like the wheat, the grain

lying in darkness does its life retain,

in resurrection to grow green again.

Meanwhile peace in our celebration moments