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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bible Verse Sunday #71 & Palm Sunday 2014

Apologies for the lack of posts all last week. I have been quite busy in recent days, and was unable to sit down to write anything. In the meantime, however, we shall be getting to the seventy-first installment of Bible Verse Sunday, examining Ecclesiastes 3:14:

"I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him."

This verse clearly illustrates the permanent and inexorable nature of whatever God has wrought. He will thus always have a foothold on this Earth, no matter how bad things may seem for his followers. This holds true for institutions such as marriage, the law, and the church. Likewise, "nothing can be added to it," meaning that no work of mankind will truly last forever, as much as we may like to flatter ourselves.

In the main service today, the pastor continued in the series on the book of Romans. He preached about how we need Jesus to wash us clean on a daily basis, and that this is accomplished through spiritual rebirth in Christ. In short, God had won the war, but we still fight the battle here on Earth. In the High School service, the youth pastor continued in a series on the parables of Jesus, teaching about the parable of the tenants. He spoke about how the Christian walk is all about learning to bear fruit for God, and that what God wants is faith which compels us to do good works. Furthermore, the only thing that will genuinely impress God is faith, which is evidenced by good works, our "fruit," the sign of a healthy tree.

Today was Palm Sunday, marking Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. The occasion takes its name from the fact that palm tree branches were laid out on the ground for Jesus. This was in fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 ("Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey."). Jesus' use of a donkey to enter Jerusalem was symbolic in His day, in that kings, upon entry into Jerusalem, would ride a donkey to show that they came in peace. Jesus rode on a donkey to show that He was coming in peace, for He is indeed the Prince of Peace. This fizzled the expectations of most of the Jewish people, who hoped that he would come as a conquering king to save them from the oppressive Roman Empire, not from their sins as He intended. (Incidentally, kings that came in in a conquering manner would have ridden a horse.) At any rate, Palm Sunday is a significant as the beginning of the Christian Holy Week, and an important precursor to the ultimate Christian holiday: Easter.

See you all next week! Also, I have written an addendum to my post on the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. I had some opinions about it which I discovered in hindsight.