Notices for Sunday 29th March 2015

They brought the colt to Jesus, spread their coats on it, and he mounted.
Mark 11:7 (Message)

Help us Father God to declare your Gospel not from a position of power but from a position of humility.
Amen

We welcome our preacher this morning who is Rev Marian Jones
After service tea hosts Bob and Evelyn

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Barb Cole in memory of her uncle Charles Newton
Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 5th April
11.00am Preacher   Rev John Wiggall (Communion)
Vestry Stewards – Sheila and Avril
Door Steward – Chris
Tea Hosts –  Chris and Joan

Diary Dates

March
Sun 29th       An Impossible God at Gresford 6.00pm
Mon 30th      Every Day with Jesus Bible Study in Lounge 10.30am
Tue 31st       Coffee Morning at Llangollen Memorial Hall 10.00am

April
Wed 1st        Joint Prayer Fellowship with Presbyterians in the lounge led by Myra Baugh 7.15pm
Fri 3rd         Walk of Witness from Hope Parish Church 10.15am United Service here at 11.00am
Wed 8th       Bible Study at Avrils 7.30pm
Fri 10th        Friday Lunches start at noon in the hall £2.50
Fri 17th        Circuit Men’s Supper here at 7.00pm

Please pray for the following:
Richard Down
Phyllis Davies
Isobel Holroyd
Ernest Tait
Maurice Anderton
Seren Williams
Vanessa Woolrich
Kay Davies

All those who care for those in need.
We thank God for answered prayer and ask that he helps us to understand that all things do work together for good.

Daffodil Cross

A Daffodil Cross will be displayed outside the church next Sunday – Easter Day. Please bring your daffodils to help create this visible witness of the resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

And the Horse You Rode in on
Mark 11:1-11

In America, cars matter.

A lot of people make personal statements by way of their rides. Want to be a badass? Saddle up a Harley Davidson, not a Vespa scooter. Want to show what a success you are? Try a Lexus instead of a Nissan Versa. Want to show that you’re a responsible, caring citizen? Try a Prius, not a Hummer.

There are tons of websites and quizzes dedicated to this phenomenon. We have built an entire industrial complex around the notion that our cars somehow reflect who we are or who we want to be. This, however, isn’t a new cultural phenomenon.

The Horse That Jesus Rides

Want to show that you’re a Messianic hero who is ready to overthrow the oppressive Roman regime? You want a well-trained war steed. That’s what a conqueror rides! But Jesus intentionally chooses an unridden, untrained colt.

Symbolism is important throughout the scriptures. So I’ve got to wonder, why?

A Bit of Horsemanship

An unridden colt is likely difficult work with because it hasn’t been trained and it hasn’t been neutered. It is probably significant that Jesus does not ride a sterile mule or gelding. What Jesus is about to do will be fertile!

There are practical realities too of an unneutered horse—especially one that has been untrained. Riding this horse is dangerous because no one knows how it will respond as a mount or to the teeming crowds. Even if Jesus were accomplished horseman, there’s a good chance that the beast would not follow Jesus’ lead, making the animal dangerous to Jesus and the crowd.

Hmmmmmm.

Breaking Tradition

I think this makes total sense for Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem.

This week’s story begins on the Mount of Olives. Jesus starts on the path of others who conquered Jerusalem, but unlike them he is forging a new path, a new way to change the world.

Perhaps the unridden colt is a symbol that Jesus is trying something new that’s never been done before. This way isn’t safe, it hasn’t been test-driven and it is anything but tame. That sounds a lot like Jesus to me. Jesus, it seems, isn’t interested in the way we’ve always done things.

I struggle with how we follow Jesus now. If Jesus came to show us a new way, to what extent is newness an integral part of the way? Are we to follow Jesus as close as we can to the way that he did things or do we have to keep doing new things in order to truly follow Jesus?

The Hardest Question

To put the question into our metaphor: If we still had the colt that Jesus rode in on, would it be better for us to ride the same colt which has now grown up to become a stallion or should we be riding fresh colts all the time? If the colt were to grow old and become domesticated, should we, the church, start again with a dangerous ride?

Rev Mike Baughman, United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas, USA

 

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