This’ll bring the crowds out

Palm Sunday – Sunday 17th April 2011
Matthew 21: 1-11

Wordpress.comI must say a very big thank you to WordPress.com. They host my blog, do all the techy, whizzy sort of stuff, and without them I’m not sure how this blog would get published – and don’t say Blogspot or Blogger, etc, etc, you know what I mean!

They regularly send me details of updates and improvements, all for my benefit. They also do the touchy, feely bit, saying we’re all part of one big community and isn’t it wonderful – somebody pass me the sick bowl!

A recent email from their touchy, feely department, though, caught my eye. Basically, it said that because most of us sit in front of our computers for endless hours through the day (and often the evenings too!) they were concerned about our health. They thought we ought to get out and do a bit of exercise.

JoggerSo they came up with the idea of the WWWP5K – which stands for WorldWide WordPress 5k run! They’re encouraging all their bloggers (389,875) to take part sometime between 4th and 10th April – and if everyone decides to do it at the same time and in the same place it’ll be pretty spectacular!

So in the interests of fair play, decency and an ever-expanding waist line I’ve decided to join in. This Friday, sometime between 6pm and 7pm, I’ll be pounding the streets of Oldham – quite literally! I’ve published this blog three days before normal publication date so you can come and line the route and cheer me on. Bring your palm leaves, lay your coats on the ground, it’s bound to be a memorable occasion.

And before you begin to worry about my health, may I just say that I do try and go to the gym twice a week, and three years ago I completed a 10k run, so pop your portable oxygen cylinders away, I shan’t need them. I use a running app called RunKeeper so I’ll be able to post my results on here once I’m safely home.

Anyways. What, you might be saying, has this got to do with this week’s lectionary reading?

Do I really think that Jesus was involved in some ancient 5k exercise shape up routine? No.

Look, your King is coming to you, riding on a donkey.

jesus on the palm sunday donkeyHere he was, the King of kings, entering Jerusalem humbly riding on a donkey. What a contrast to the royalty and power brokers of today. I watched the news the other day when the world leaders travelled to Paris to discuss the Libyan crisis, and the size of the motorcades and the armed protection was phenomenal.

Look, your King is coming to you, riding on a donkey.

I forgot to tell you earlier, I’ve actually got a Sunday off this week. My bruvver is coming home from Las Vegas to watch Leicester City – and see family as well – and I’m going to the Walkers Stadium with him. One of the things that my son, Jacob, and I like to do when we visit the Walkers Stadium is to try and guess who owns which cars. The players’ car park, you see, is filled with huge and gleaming Bentley’s, Merc’s, Landrover’s, Audi’s, Beemer’s, and we try to put a player behind the wheel – probably failing hopelessly.

Look, your King is coming to you, riding on a donkey.

When you look at the upside down nature of the world and then read the Palm Sunday story it’s a real sobering moment. I fall silent in awe and wonder at the God who stooped so lowly and tenderly to touch our lives, with real compassion and care. The Servant King.

The servant KingThe Palm Sunday reading goes hand in hand with the events of Holy Week, especially those intimate moments when Jesus talks with his disciples. He reveals the real Father-heart of God, the servant qualities and attitude that we each should strive for.

“Kings like to throw their weight around and people in authority like to give themselves fancy titles. It’s not going to be that way with you. Let the senior among you become like the junior; let the leader act the part of the servant.
“Who would you rather be: the one who eats the dinner or the one who serves the dinner? You’d rather eat and be served, right? But I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves.
Luke 22: 25-27 (The Message)

Running onIf I could aim for something in life, that’s what I’d want to aim for. The servant life.

It’s so inspiring it makes me want to go outside and run 5k.

Happy days.

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About Neil Chappell

Husband, father, Congregational Minister and football fan all rolled into one convenient package.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Church and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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