Moonage Daydream

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After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.'”

So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.”

Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”

Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

Luke 19:28-40

Here we are on the home stretch of a journey we began five and a half weeks ago. Christians in all corners of the globe set out to draw nearer to Jesus as we all make our way to Jerusalem. The worlds almost two billion Christians acting out the Passion and the Palms corporately and in personally individual ways, marking this journey with the great hope of a glimpse of the GLORY to come.

A diversity of ways to be Christian and draw near the Christ is most certainly to be found in Christendom, our two billion strong nuclear family. “Red, yellow, black, and white; each is precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Now that is something to parade about.

Love.

Diversity.

Jesus.

No matter if your savior arrives upon the back of a donkey or riding the soles of a brand new pair of Easter shoes, the message of love in diversity is the same. This is the beauty of Jesus, the beauty of the Christ as we prepare to enter in to the dark days just before the “TADA” of Easter.

Jesus and the Disciples twelve are romping around the countryside, having departed from Jericho on the way to Jerusalem so that Jesus can die. Jesus heals the sick and returns sight to the blind on the way. The Disciples fight for understanding of what Jesus is telling them. They know something is going to happen. Something big. But they are not sure what it will be. They ask for things beyond their understanding and then bicker among themselves.

In the Gospel of Luke we read Jesus dropping knowledge like two-ton hammers all over the Disciples and on who ever could listen. He is warning them of his impending death and that this is indeed the call to break free from the systemic oppressions and be liberated and returned to the Kingdom of God.

The beauty of the Kingdom of God is behind the curtain just waiting to be revealed. The anticipation. The excitement. The joy, knowing that come Easter Jesus will return from the grave having conquered death. All will be well and death looses its sting. End Scene.

But that is not what was going on at all. As scores of people collect, each one gathered to see the arriving hope. The accompanying Disciples and other hanger-oners all carry their own hopes and expectations with them. All of them parading upon palms and delivering hope, fear, trepidation, and a host of other emotions.

One of the reasons I remain a Christian is here in this story of the Triumphant Entry, there are all kinds of ways to be a Christian. There is not one way to have faith, engage faith, be faithful, or doubt faith. It takes all kinds to be the church.

I am going to read the Gospel lesson again. This time I want you all to close your eyes and imagine what is going on. I want you to smell the air. I want you to hear the sounds around you. I want you to look around at the people that surround you. I want you to take in the procession as it moves along. I want you to find yourself in the story.

“After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord needs it.”

“Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”

What did you see? What did you experience? Who did you connect with?

I bet that if everyone answered these questions out loud we would get a different answer from each one of us. There is beauty and truth to everyone’s experience with the Gospel. We all bring our stories to the Table. This is the beauty of the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is like a pearl, it is like a wedding banquet, it is like a field of treasure, it is like a mustard seed. The Kingdom of God is…

The last five and a half weeks we have been preparing ourselves for a journey. We have done all that we can do as we lead up to next week. We are here. We are being asked to find ourselves in the story. Where do you belong in the story of Christ? This is not a matter of eligibility or worth. This is a matter of connections, relationships, and empathy. Who we say Jesus is in our life is as important as who we share our lives with.

Our stories matter, our story is the path to shared experience. Our stories draw us together around dinner tables and campfires. Our story draws us in to each other. When we share our faith stories we are experiencing the fullness of God. For each of us carries a part of the Divine Creator with us in our story.

Let me share a story with you.

There once lived six blind men in a village. One day a villager told them, “There is an elephant in the village today.” They had no idea what an elephant was.

They were curious and decided that even though they would not be able to see it, they would go and feel it anyway.” All of them went to where the elephant was. Every one of them touched the elephant.

“Hey, the elephant is a pillar,” said the first man who touched his leg. “Oh, no! It is like a rope,” said the second man who touched the tail. “Oh, no! It is like a thick branch of a tree,” said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

“It is like a big hand fan,” said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant. “It is like a huge wall,” said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant. “It is like a solid pipe,” Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and every one of them insisted that were right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and heard the commotion.

He stopped and asked them, “What is the matter?” They said, “We cannot agree to what the elephant is like.” Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, “All of you are right.

The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said.” “Oh!” everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.

If we only embraced that which we experienced in life we would be left like a blind man and their limited understanding of an elephant. As when the blind men gathered together and wisdom offer to connect the dots, so to is Gods fullness offered to us in the shared experience of a community.

Today almost two billion saints worship the Christ. We come here today, to this Table that we might be fed that heavenly fruit that sustains us and transforms us. We arrived here today expecting the Holy Spirit of God to move in and through us that we might forgive our debtors as we ask to be forgiven of our debts. We arrived here today to find ourselves in the story of Creator and creation that we may not be lead in to temptation but that when we may be delivered from evil.

Finding yourself in the story is important. Once you find yourself in the story you can invest in gleaming the wisdom God has to offer in the “Good Book.” Finding yourself in the story is the mantra for the last five and a half weeks and it has prepared you to go with Christ in to an unknown, trusting it’ll be ok no matter the outcome.

We are part of the diversity of ways to be Christian. We are part of the earthly, two billion strong nuclear family of Jesus. “Red, yellow, black, and white; each is precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Now that is something to share with others.

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