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Dear Gulf Coast Leaders,Mike Rinehart

April 17, 2011 – Passion/Palm Sunday

Matthew 21:1-11 Procession with Palms – The Triumphal Entry
Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16 (5)
Philippians 2:5-11 –
the Christ Hymn. Have this mind among you that was in Christ, who emptied himself, and became a servant, even unto death. See https://bishopmike.com/2010/03/21/32810-is-palmpassion-sunday/ at the bottom for more on this text.
Matthew 26:14-27:66 or Matthew 27:11-54

Counter Procession

Many pastors have never preached on Palm Sunday. The pattern for many years was to read the Passion. I believe this was because Good Friday attendance was so dismal. Now there is a movement to put the Passion back on Good Friday, so preachers will have to give thought to the theological significance of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Click here for last year’s Palm Sunday post on Jesus’ Triumphal Entry: https://bishopmike.com/2010/03/21/32810-is-palmpassion-sunday/

[By the way, as you prepare for Good Friday, click here for Mark Mummert’s helpful blog post on the Solemn Reproaches for Good Friday: http://mummertmusingmusic.blogspot.com/2011/03/solemn-reproaches-on-good-friday.html ]

As we discussed last year, the gospel writers present Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as an anti-Triumph — a kind of paroody of Caesar’s pompous march into Rome after a military victory.

Dan Clendenin calls it a Counter-Procession, that ends with the death penalty. http://www.journeywithjesus.net/Essays/20080310JJ.shtml He
highlights three reasons Jesus is crucified:

1. subverting the nation

2. encouraging people to not pay taxes

3. calling himself a king

While these are probably trumped up, the sign over his head on the cross confirm that this was probably the line of thought.

Jesus was popular. He drew large crowds. Anyone who could draw a crowd of 5,000 men, plus women and children, was a dangerous person. Clogging Jersualem’s streets drew attention to Jesus. An anti-imperial, anti-triumphal procession of peasants would capture attention of the authorities, who were expected to put down riots, much like we see in Libya today. Jesus had to have known what he was doing by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey — what he was saying.

What does it mean for us to participate in subversive counter-processions today? What does it mean to empty ourselves as Paul talks about in this coming Sunday’s epistle text (Philippians 2)? What does it mean to pour ourselves out like a drink offering (2 Timothy 4:6)?

It is all well and good to ogle and reenact Jesus’ own procession, but how do we process into the world as a subversive community exposing systems of power and privilege? I think first we have to acknowledge them. They have to become topics of discussion. We have to name who is powerful and who is powerless.

Then we will be the voice of the people, the voice of the voiceless, the voice of the powerless who live under the power of those who wield the threatening death stick.

To walk the way of the cross is to tap into the power of compassion, listening, enlightening, emptying. It’s the power of powerlessness.

Be at peace with God and with one another,

Michael Rinehart, Bishop


palm sunday in india

Palm Sunday in India Folks we’re close. We only need 31 more people to take the health assessment this month, and ALL of us will receive a 2% discount. Would you please

The anniversary of Bonhoeffer’s death
Lutherans Restoring Creation Event, May 7 at Covenant
Disciple Project is June 26-30!
Steve Cox and St. Paul Rehburg
The Ark Family Church
Kinsmen Videos Available Online
Protect Liberians living in the U.S. Affordable, Aesthetic Projection

Sub-Saharn Africans are hungry
In Memory of Pastor Dan Zimmermann
First Lutheran Church in Lafayette, Louisiana
Preaching and Attention Span
Preaching and Remote Controls

Health Assessment due April 30

ISRAEL TRIP will be led by Pastor Steve Quill October 10-19, 2011. The trip will include Christmas Lutheran in Bethlehem and Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Jerusalem. Brochure. Registration.

Prayer List

Lectionary Readings


April 14-30 – Synod delegation to the Evangelial Lutheran Church of the Central African Republic

Thursday, April 28 – Pete Steinke to speak at Metro Houston Ministerium (MHM). 11:45-1:15 at Christ the King, Houston. (MHM includes the four Houston ministriums: Central, North, West and Southeast).

May 7 –Lutherans Restoring Creation at Covenant Houston, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

May 20-22 – Synod Assembly

June 24-July 3 — Peru Trip to congregation in Huacho, and Rainforest

June 26-30 – Disciple Project at Texas Lutheran University

July 21-30 – Intergenerational Peru Trip, including Machu Picchu. Register now.

August 14-20 – Churchwide Assembly

Leadership Gatherings (Saturday only this year):
August 6 – Houston
August 13 – Brenham
August 27 – New Orleans

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