Notices for Sunday 9th April 2017

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
Matt 21:9 (Message)

We praise you Father God, for who you are and what you intend to do. Forgive our fickleness when we expect you to fit in with our plans rather than expecting that you fulfil your purpose in our lives.

Welcome to our preacher this morning who is Rev John Wiggall
After service tea hosts Val and Barb

Our thanks for the flowers which are given by Ann Moss in memory of her mother May Evans
Organist: Joan McGowan

Sunday 16th April
11.00am             Rev Neville Pugh (Communion)
Vestry Steward – Sheila
Door Steward – Chris
Tea Hosts – Chris and Joan

Diary Dates

Wed 12th      Midweek Communion at Regent Street, 11.15am
Thu 13th       Maundy Thursday service at Presbyterian Church 7.00pm
Thu 13th       Circuit Men’s Supper at Regent Street 7.00pm
Fri 14th        Walk of Witness from Hope Parish Church 10.00am
Fri 14th        Good Friday Worship 11.00am
Sat 15th       Easter Egg Hunt at Rhosddu 3.00pm
Sun 16th       Communion at Regent Street on the roof 7.00am followed by bacon butty and tea
Tue 18th       Ruabon Coffee Morning at Llangollen 10.00am
Fri 21st        Friday Lunch Club 12 noon in the hall £3
Sun 23rd       Messy Church in the hall 4.00pm to 6.00pm

Please pray for the following:
Isobel Holroyd
Dorreen Holroyd
Michael Shipley
Keith and Myra Baugh
Evelyn Taylor
Gwyneth Williams

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.

Abermorddu School Choir and Buckley Brass Concert

The amount raised was £460 which will be shared equally with the school and the band. Our thanks again for those who helped and supported the concert.

Daffodil Cross

We will once again be displaying the cross at the front of the church building on Easter Sunday.
Please remember to bring your daffodils and help create a display which will remind our community of the meaning of Easter when the cross was empty and Jesus is arisen.

“Wave your flag, but DON’T touch the treasury!”
Matthew 21:1-11

Crowds are fickle.  Watch the supporters of any professional sports franchise and you will see. When the team is winning the stadiums are full, when the team hits a losing streak, the gate monies diminish.

Be they political supporters, pop idol followers, or sports fans; crowds are at their best when they are cheering on a winner.

Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey was a public relations winner. The messiah hungry crowd witnessed and interpreted the arrival as it was cast in the all the old testament trappings and nuances of a royal arrival to the capital. This was a hero’s welcome. This was the Jerusalem equivalent of a ticker tape parade, or a coronation cavalcade.

The mystery that confronts me every time I reflect on this passage however, is how quickly this crowd in Jerusalem changes their mind and their allegiance. If we follow the liturgical sequence and timing, which may not be quite the lost historical schedule, we have Jesus the victor on Palm Sunday and Jesus the villain by Thursday night! That is a serious drop in the ratings! I doubt Charlie Sheen nor Tiger Woods could top that!

What could Jesus possibly have done in one week that so disillusioned his supporters that they turned on him, called for a criminal in his place, and were happy to see him killed?

Perhaps the key to understanding this falling away lies in what Jesus does when he gets inside Jerusalem. He goes and overthrows the tables of the money lenders in the temple.

I remember reading somewhere that at the time of Jesus, almost the whole economy of the temple was based upon the temple and its sacrificial system. The buying and selling of sacrificial animals, and the forex generated by changing money into the exclusive temple currency. The religious industry was what made Jerusalem work economically.

If you ask me as a white South African, who has lived long enough to be immersed in Apartheid for 37 years of my life and the New South Africa for the balance (since 1994),  “What ended Apartheid?” I would tell you what brought the Apartheid regime to the negotiation table was primarily economics. The sanction blockade enforced by the global community made the old ways unworkable.  What is important not to forget is that at the heart of that sanctions campaign was a diminutive, ever smiling Archbishop named Desmond Tutu.  If the Apartheid rulers could have crucified him they would have!  You challenge my treasury at your peril.  Hadn’t the Nazareth Rabbi said it, “Where your treasure is, your heart will be also”?

The arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem, turned out to be, not the arrival of a club member who would endorse the status quo and conform to the messianic agenda formulated by the stakeholders; but rather emerged to be the arrival of a table turning radical, who had justice at his core. Once that realization dawned, assassination and not worship was on the agenda.

A Jesus who “refuses to be an insider but who always sides with the outsider”, as Richard Rohr puts it, will always upset our carefully laid economic tables and status quo scenarios.

I have some understanding for the fickle crowd.  I have felt their vacillation in my own heart. The real, radical Jesus, from time to time, evokes deep visceral anger in my carefully crafted concepts. At these moments of challenge I could gladly do away with him.

It is at times like those, with Jesus upturning my values and attitudes, that I fight hard to remember the words of Martin Luther King Jr., “The truth will set you free, as Jesus said.  But first it will make you very angry!”

Angry enough to kill?

Peter Woods, Port Elizabeth, South Africa


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