Every Hebrew person knew what would happen when the Messiah came.  He would be a King among the Jews, and there were certain realities about Kings and the King of Kings that were sure…

1)  A king can take whatever he wishes; it is all considered his in the first place.

2)  A king never uses anything anyone else has used; it must be new

3)  The Messiah would enter Jerusalem riding on the foal of a donkey (Zech. 9:9)

4)  The Messiah would enter Jerusalem from the Mt. of Olives (Zech 14:4)

5)  A king entering Jerusalem enters hailed by the people parade-style with banners, branches and song

6)  Previous kings, when riding donkeys, had those donkeys covered by the cloaks of those around him (2 Kings 9:13).

7)  When the Messiah came, he would be greeted with, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”

8)  A king would enter Jerusalem and go directly to the Temple either to worship or bring reform

With these in mind, reread the story of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry in Matt. 21 or Mark 11, and see where these things play out.  You see, this entry into Jerusalem wasn’t a random act, a spur-of-the-moment decision.  This was a public proclamation of Jesus’ identity as Messiah and King of the Jews.  So often during His ministry, Jesus had asked people to remain silent about Him, explaining that His time had not yet come.  But in this single act, Jesus proclaims to the entire city, filling up with Passover celebrants, who He is.

The time for silence about Jesus’ identity is past.  With the disciples and onlookers, we much proclaim, “Hosanna!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Today, we hear from Vicki Herrick, who has been attending LCC for 33 years …

“But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to
people that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what
is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:17-18)

These verses were a continuation of the scripture that I read on January 3. At that time, I was
reminded that the words of Jesus were “when you fast” and not “if you fast.”
I have followed the Lord since I was a young child. When I was in elementary school, I noticed
that my classmates who were Catholic “gave up” something during Lent—meat, chocolate,
Coca-Cola, etc. I didn’t realize that their abstinence was a type of fasting. Fasting was a
mystery to me because my family never practiced that spiritual discipline. As an adult, I found
out that fasting does have a place in a believer’s life.

Fasting helps me to take the focus off myself and to make God the priority. My fasts are usually
24-hour periods of not eating. I find my prayer time to be much richer when I am fasting.
However, fasting doesn’t have to be denying yourself food. Fasting can be giving up any
physical fulfillment such as TV, computers or cell phones. If you have never considered fasting,
this Lenten season might be a good time to try this spiritual discipline as we remember the
sacrifice that our Lord made.

One of the most fascinating things about the Passion Story in John’s gospel is that Jesus is completely in control throughout.  We are used to the plucking of our emotional heartstrings on Holy Week, from the exuberance of Palm Sunday to the darkness of Good Friday to the joy of Resurrection Sunday.  We’ve seen movies and heard stories of the cruelty of the crucifixion and seen the suffering and pain on Jesus’ face.  But when you read John’s account with a first-time reader’s eye, you notice that Jesus is in complete control of His emotions, but also of everything else.

From the Garden of Gethsemane to the moment of His death, Jesus seems unfazed by the activity going on around Him.  Rather than cries of anguish, we find theological and philosophical debates going on.  Rather than soldiers mocking Him on the cross with a vinegar sponge, we find Jesus saying, “I’m thirsty” and receiving a drink.

But nowhere is this more evident than when it comes to His mother Mary.  As Jesus hangs from the cross, He makes arrangements for His mother’s care.  As a widow, Mary would have had nobody to look after her once her children were gone.  Where Jesus’ other siblings were we don’t know, but here on the cross, Jesus entrusts Mary to the care of John this Disciple.  As one of the youngest of the disciples, Jesus also turns the care about and offers His own mother to care for the boy.  “Woman, here is your son,” He says to Mary.  And to John, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:26).

When life seems out of control, remember that this same Jesus, who was in complete control even over His own death, can be in control of your life as well.  But He won’t force Himself on you.  You have to give up your own control and allow Him to take the wheel.  It’s not easy, but once He has control, you will find that life becomes a million times more peaceful.

Holy Week

As we draw near to Holy Week once again, we have a variety of opportunities to celebrate together this most important week of our year.  Join us, bring your friends and family, and hear the story of God’s love through Jesus Christ.

Sunday, March 20 (Palm Sunday)

Sunday school for all ages @ 9:15am

Palm Sunday worship @ 10:30am (Pastor Paul Preaching)

Wednesday, March 23

NO Wed. night activities

Friday, March 25 (Good Friday)

Worship @ 7:00pm (Nursery care provided)

Sunday, March 27 (Resurrection Sunday)

Finger Food Fellowship @ 9:15am (No Sunday School)

Easter Egg hunt and story for all kids @ 10:00am

Easter Sunday Worship @ 10:30am

Lent is a time to remember and reflect.  So we’ve asked a number of people to share their stories with us.  Today, we hear from Paul Couleur, our Associate Pastor to Youth…

My faith journey has been precisely that, a journey. Growing up, Winnetka Covenant Church was my spiritual home. I am blessed to have been raised by Christian parents who had me baptized as an infant. My journey was shaped by spiritual formation at church, retreats, covenant camping experiences, and other church actives.

Many summers I would spend a week at Covenant Harbor Bible Camp and it was during one such a summer that I gave my life to Christ. During a Wednesday evening worship service in the Carriage house I had raised my hand in response to the invitation to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. However, that wasn’t the only summer I raised my hand to do so. Each year when the time came to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior my hand was raised nice and high. In response my counselor who was with me the previous summer asked, “why did you raised your hand again.” My response was to explain that I invited him into my heart and I wasn’t always sure he was there. However, I really did want Jesus to be my Lord and Savior. This kind counselor assured me “Paul, he’s with you, Always!”

The journey of faith didn’t end there.  If anything, it really started to pick up momentum. In response to these meaningful experiences at camp I would return to church with a desire to know what it was that God intended for my life.  What does a life well lived look like to God? Each day I continue to seek to live a life pleasing before God.

In one way or another, each day I ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, and in response I offer my self to Him.

I once was lost and now I have been found.

Praise be to God.