April 2022

Jesus Was Gentle, Humble, Yet Regal

And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” – Mark 11:7-10

 

Jesus rides triumphantly into the capital city, which was occupied by an oppressive regime. Jesus’ triumphal entry was not on a stallion. Some may smirk at this Rabbi riding a donkey into Jerusalem as little more than an inspirational gesture. Yet, the fact that we, along with millions of others across the globe today, recount this event – annually – knowing, not only Jesus’ Name, but most of us recall from memory the intricate details:

 

  • Of the foal He chose to ride,

  • Of the spontaneous cheers of the crowd of bystanders,

  • Their shouts of "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"

  • Of  His encounter with the religious leaders,

  • Their dialogue: “Quite your disciples!” “If they are silent, the stones will cry out!”

  • His weeping over the city prior to his entry

  • His cleansing the temple later on.

 

We know Palm Sunday, Jesus’ Triumphal Entry, better than any battle or “take over” in American or even world history. The fact that we know this decisive day so well suggests that what Jesus did on this day is more significant than any military invasions we could name – despite their staggering displays of strength. We remember Jesus’ “invasion” of Jerusalem – like none other.

 

2000 years later, Jesus’ kingdom remains – prevails. His is not a geopolitical kingdom, but a real, growing, advancing Kingdom: The Kingdom of God.

 

When we gather for worship on Palm Sunday, we will sing, perhaps even shout, "Hosanna!” Hosanna means "save". It is an ancient Hebrew plea for help. Is “Hosanna!” the cry of your heart? Do you look to Jesus as your only hope? Do you long for a “regime change” in your life?

 

Some of us realize “regime change” is exactly what we need. Others of us are fearful. We’ve been disappointed in the past. The last thing we need is a hostile "take over".

But Palm Sunday demonstrates Jesus is gentle, and humble. This doesn’t make Him any less regal. His ways are not our ways. Jesus comes to us – at a whole other level.

 

"Hosanna!" is a word for us, today, in our self-reliant society. We cry out to Jesus, “Hosanna! Save us!" Save us – from what? In a word: sin. A quick scan of the news reminds us we are "missing the mark". The events of this Holy Week teach us the staggering cost of our salvation. Jesus came for you! He died for you! Will you cry out to Him and open your heart to receive His free gift?

 

Growing with you in Christ,

Dave Meckley, Pastor

Friday, April 15, 7 PM Good Friday Service in our sanctuary. Scripture readings will focus on Christ's atoning sacrifice for us. Pastor Dave will share a narrative sermon from the perspective one of the thieves crucified with Jesus.

 

Sunrise Service April 17, 8 AM, St John's Church Pavilion. Confirmation Youth will share an engaging drama entitled, The Gospel According to Them. In this lighthearted play, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John take turns telling the story of Jesus: His life, ministry, death and resurrection. Breakfast will be served by the Women's Guild.

 

We will celebrate altar communion on Resurrection Sunday as part of our morning worship.

Friday, April 22

6:30 PM Women's Guild meets in Fellowship Hall

 

Sunday, April 24

7 PM Concert of Praise at New Enterprise Church of the Brethren. St John’s Reformed Church Choir will join others from area churches in this service of worship.

 

 

Friday, April 29

6 PM Pro-Life Dinner at Crossroads Bible Church. Speaker: Seth Drayer, VP of Created Equal. Adults $20, Students $10, age 4 and under free. Sponsored by Bedford County Citizens Concerned for Human Life: www.bedfordcountyprolife.org.

 

Friday, April 29

6:30-9 PM Teen Encounter Pizza Party and Girl Time: Made for More led by Gwen Smith. For girls grade 6 and up; youth leaders and mothers encouraged to attend. Grace Fellowship Activity Center, Leamersville. Tickets $10 donation in advance www.ladiesencounter.com or call 814-224-5119 ($12 @ door).

 

 

Saturday, April 30

10-4 PM Ladies Spring Encounter with Mary Southerland and Gwen Smith: Getting Good at Being You. Tickets $30 donation, $15 lunch in advance www.ladiesencounter.com or call 814-224-5119. Blair County Convention Center, Altoona.