What a difference a week makes! Holy week is the epitome of a 180 degree reversal – the best of times and the worst of times, as Dickens would put it. On Palm Sunday Jesus made a grand entrance into Jerusalem, riding on a donkey to a tidal wave of acclamation and praise. The crowds were so ready for a Messiah that when they saw him they instantly recognized him as the One the prophets had promised long ago as the One God would send to make things right again. Their shouts of “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest” were a quote from Psalm 118 that had been sung on coronation day for Israel’s kings. Surely Jesus’ reputation for the signs and wonders things he had done in Galilee had preceded him, and the people were ready.
But not everyone welcomed Jesus with open arms. The political and religious leaders looked on with suspicion from their corner offices where they were already plotting his demise. Holy Week was the historic showdown between the sword and the cross, two symbols of power with very different foundations. For millennia the sword had reigned over humanity, ruling with violence and an iron fist. The Pax Romano was a cruel political statement, because where there is no justice there is no peace. Jesus disappointed and angered a lot of people because he violated their expectations and desires for a political Messiah who would rule by the sword. But Jesus made it clear with both word and deed that that his kingdom – God’s Kingdom – was not of this world and would operate with a different set of values: faith, hope, and love instead of “might makes right.”
Even his beloved disciples did not get the cross. When Jesus was arrested, they all abandoned him, convinced that they had backed the wrong horse. Many people in the Palm Sunday crowd who shouted “Hosanna” were shouting “crucify Him” five days later; and Peter denied that even he even knew him, not once but three times. They viewed the arrest and crucifixion of Jesus as a major failure, instead of God’s great victory over the power of sin, death, and violence. When Rome played the ultimate power card (crucifixion), instead of fighting fire with fire, Jesus stood tall with integrity, courage, conviction, and love, refusing to fight or to flee, showing the whole world that the most powerful force in the world is the love of God which cannot be squelched by all the swords in the world. This love is so strong that it can forgive sins, give new life to sinners, and even raise the dead.
Yes, what a difference that week made. From “Hosanna in the highest: to “crucify him” to “Christ is risen” in seven short days.No wonder the Roman centurion who took Jesus down from the cross said, “Truly, this was the Son of God.” I hope you will join us for Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter worship online as we celebrate the greatest story ever told and the greatest power the world has ever seen.
We are so grateful for the generous contributions to help the Raleigh Dream Center.Thanks to you, we collected $765.00, which turned into hundreds of canned items, diapers, and wipes - wow! And add to that a donation of $78 to their food pantry. The center operates a mobile food pantry and a food warehouse, which provides nearly 40,000 pounds of food a week to local communities.
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Planning mode for 2022 church envelopes: To save money, we order our church giving envelopes by March 31, 2021 for 2022. This year, we plan to order out of numerical sequence, not ordering boxes for people who don't use them. If you would like giving envelopes for 2022, would you email Virginia by March 29thand let her know?
Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office.
Celebration! Elaine Wolf continues to feel better after her recent kidney transplant surgery. The family still has many restrictions, so that means no visits, food, or flowers, but you may always send a card! The Wolf/Huffman address is 8705 Mansfield Drive, Raleigh, NC 27613-1337. The whole family is grateful for the outpouring of love and support from you all!
Virginia Raby's first procedure went extremely well! There was no cancer found in her bladder and the ureter stent that the doctor implanted is doing its work of minimizing pain. The next step will be to visit a surgical oncologist. She and Andy are so grateful for all the prayers and good wishes!
We ask that you pray for the family of Sally Harrington, who was Nancy Elder's cousin. Sally was home alone and she called emergency services, realizing she was having a heart attack. Unfortunately they were unable to arrive in time to save her. Sally and her husband had planned to fly to Colorado in April to be present for the birth of their first grandchild. Please lift up Sally's family as they grieve her sudden loss at such an emotional time for all.