Holy Week Musings: Palm Sunday- Evaluate Expectations

Today, 4/1/2012, is celebrated as Palm Sunday. It is the day Jesus made is triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a colt and people laid palm fronds before Him proclaims Hosanna. Jesus came to Jerusalem for Passover and excitement was buzzing. He had raised Lazarus from dead and taught from the Mount of Olive. People were excited about what Jesus was about to do. They eagerly expected that the tyranny of Rome would be shaken off and that Jesus would take his place on David’s throne to rule as Messiah. On that day, many years ago, Jesus entered Jerusalem in the way that scripture prophesied Messiah would enter Jerusalem. The buzz that day had to be immense and it culminated in a huge spontaneous celebration. Palm Sunday was in essence really the first flash mob, only there was no planning involved, it just happened. People were excited. God was about to change everything and life would soon be better for all. Unfortunately, they missed the reality. Yes, God was about to change everything, just not in a way that matched expectations. Rather, God moved in a greater way that was beyond improving our life now, but rather making a way for all to be made right, fully. For Jesus did not lead a revolution or take the throne. He did not destroy Rome and life was not going to be any different. Now certainly the throngs and cries of the people had to bring temptation to invoke the plan of doing whatever to make life best for now. He could have taken the throne and undid of Rome but that would have missed the point of undoing what had been done. Adam had put all of creation under a curse of sin by one action. Jesus by one action made the way of restoration and redemption. He made it possible for man to be in direct relationship with God. He suffered greatly to bring freedom.

People expected and wanted one thing but God had something else in mind. Today, often times we are not any different than the Palm Sunday crowd. We want God to make our life best in the moment. We are focused in what God is doing for me know. We get upset if God doesn’t somehow bring circumstance to our liking. Personally, I have had my own expectations shattered at times and it did lead to periods of great anger and sin. God didn’t do things the way I thought He should. See our expectations are dangerous things and are usually wrong. Our expectations are based on our view of the world and what we think is best in the moment. Our expectations come out of our selfishness. Life doesn’t play out in accordance with what we think is “our best life now.” Things do not work out in accordance with what we want. And if we get what we want, the how we get there is usually not the way or path chosen on getting there. The story that plays out in life is never what we expect and always filled with surprises. There are many reasons for the many twists and turns of life that run contrary to even the most honorable of expectations.

So does that mean we should not have expectations? No, but we need to be constantly evaluating our expectations and desires. We need to continually be submitting whatever we expect or want before God. We need to exam self and the motives behind what we expect. We need to continually pursue God and his truth and change our own perspective to line up with His perspective. We need to move beyond the momentary and temporary and be open to whatever greater has in store. Ultimately, God meets our wants, desires, and expectations. When God does act, He acts in ways that far exceed whatever we could hope or imagine. Just like God’s plan of redemption truly met the needs of all who are willing to accept it. God had a better way. This remains true to this day. So, take time to examine where you are at, what you expect of God, what you expect with others, and what you expect of self. Examine all in light of scripture and ask God to direct paths and steps, even if things to do not go the way you expect. For Gods ways always exceeds expectations, even if we do not grasp it.

Resurrection Sunday Video’s for Meditation and Reflection

 Hope you are having a blessed Resurrection Sunday. Last year posted a variety of Video’s celebrating the Resurrection. Takes some time to review them: https://peacebringer7.wordpress.com/2010/04/03/resurrection-day-songs-of-worship/. This years approach is a little different. The videos being posted are really ones to meditate and reflect on what Jesus Resurrection means for us and the impact. There are some interesting pieces that are not quite as well known at least by me. Some comment will accompany each piece. So take some time and examine and see what God stirs in you. Then perhaps go back to the video’s posted last year and celebrate.

The starting point is a piece of music and choreography reflecting on our brokenness and the need for resurrection. The piece was created by Nicole Sponberg in 2008. The Dance is by a dance group, Selah Warriors:

From that piece the next one is passed on Psalms 30, a Psalm that really points to the resurrection. A key element of the psalm is that God will turn our mourning into dancing. The song is entitled Alright Psalm 30 and is by the group Tree63. (Apparently need to go to you tube to watch it, click on the video to watch it on you tube)

 Next up is a 5:00 minute sermon jam on the empty tomb and related facts. I do not know who the quotes are taken from, perhaps John Piper, but it worthwhile to listen and review the facts related to the empty tomb. 

 Next brings us to spend time focusing on God’s act of love and that Love Crucified Arose. This piece is by Michael Card and draws into the focus of what Jesus did and the importance of His resurrection and how the grave became a place of hope.

The next piece is from Hillsong United: My Redeemer Lives. It is a song of some celebration of what God has done with God conquering sin and His cleansing us from sin. (Apparently need to go to you tube to watch it, click on the video to watch it on you tube)

The celebration continues with a piece of music from Tim Hughes focusing on how Happy this Day is for each of us. (Apparently need to go to you tube to watch it, click on the video to watch it on you tube)

The next song really continues the meditation and celebration of the Resurrection. This is more widely know. It is Casting Crowns Glorious Day with focus on Jesus coming to this earth, died, and then rose again to justify us. It looks forward to His return, the next Glorious Day. (Apparently need to go to you tube to watch it, click on the video to watch it on you tube)

The next piece focuses worship to God Almighty for His actions, for the victory the resurrection provides. It is by a group called Forerunner and is based on Psalm 136 with the key phrase: His love/mercy endures forever.  

After focusing on giving thanks to God for His love that endures forever, the next piece of music is a worship song known as the Victory Chant.  It follows the Celebration and focus on Jesus return and surrender to the Lamb of God who is the Lion of Judah.

The last piece for meditation is a “flash mob” kind of experience. Last year in Budapest Hungary a worship dance was performed.  This year the plan is for the same dance to occur in multiple locations around the world. Information on this action is found at http://uptofaith.com/.  When I watch the video the Holy Spirit was stirred within me. It is the perfect video to draw this post to a close.  I hope you were blessed by the Music, let God stir within you what He will.  Celebrate the Resurrection:

(Disclaimer: Nothing is known of the varied groups the pieces of music included on this blog or the theology of the people who compiled the music.  The pieces of music were what God led me to include. The inclusion does not show support or promotion of theology of the people who created the pieces.)