Sermons 2007
Why are we not surprised? Palm/Passion Sunday C, 1 April 2007, Luke 22:39-23:50

Home | In the Beginning was the Word, Christmas Day, 25 December 2007, John 1:1-14 | What's Missing? Christmas Eve, 24 December 2007, Luke 2:1-20 | Joseph, the Forgotten One, Advent 4A, 23 December 2007, Matthew 1:18-25 | Come with Joy, Advent 3A, 16 December 2007, Matthew 11:2-11 | Darkness or Light? Advent 1A, 2 December 2007, Matthew 24:37-44 | What Kind of King is He? Proper 29C, 25 November 2007, Luke 23:35-43 | Predictions and the Horseman of the Apocalypse, Proper 28C, 18 Nov 2007, Luke 31:5-19 | Just passing through? Proper 27C , 11 November 2007, Luke 20:20-38 | Not like others? Proper 25C, 28 October 2007, Luke 18:9-14 | "We are bold to say", Proper 24C, 21 October 2007, Luke 18:1-8a | "The ten lepers", Proper 23C, 14 October 2007, Luke 17:11-19 | Proper 22C and Holy Baptism, 7 October 2007 | A taste of cool water, Proper 21C, 30 September 2007, Luke 16:19-31 | We hear what we want to hear, Proper 20C, 23 September 2007, Luke 16:1-13 | "Lost -- but found!" Proper 19C, 16 September 2007, Luke 15:1-10 | "Who is coming to dinner?" Proper 17C, 2 September 2007, Luke 14:1, 7-14 | Doors and narrow gates, Proper 16C, 26 August 2007, Luke 13:22-30 | "Fire to the earth", Proper 15C, 19 August 2007, Luke 12:49-56 | "Do not be afraid, little flock', Proper 14C, 12 August 2007, Luke 12:32-40 | "How much is enough?" Proper 13C , 5 August 2007, Luke 12:13-21 | "Lord, teach us to pray" Proper 12C, 29 July 2007, Luke 11:1-13 | "The Better Part?" Proper 11C, 22 July 2007, Luke 10:38-42 | The Good Samaritan -- the Summary of the Law" Proper 10C, 15 July 2007, Luke 10:25-37 | "Travel Light!" Proper 9C, 8 July 2007, Luke 10:1-12, 16-20 | "Independence Day" Proper 8C, 1 July 2007, Luke 9:51-62 | "Three Questions", Proper 7C, 24 Jun 2007, Luke 9:18-24 | "In or Out?" Proper 6C, 17 June 2007, Luke 7:36-50 | "On Grace", Proper 5C, 10 June 2007, Luke 7:11-17 | Trinity C, 3 June 2007 | Pentecost C, 27 May 2007 | "Unity and Diversity" Easter 7C, 20 May 2007, John 17:20-26 | "Come, Holy Spirit, Come" Easter 6C, 13 May 2007, John 14:23-29 | "What is this thing called love?" Easter 5C, 6 May 2007, John 13:31-35 | "Numbers and Sheep", Easter 4C, 29 April 2007, John 10:22-30 | Virginia Tech, Easter 3C, 22 April 2007 Revelation 6:8-10 | Thomas Doubter and Believer, Easter 2C, 15 April 2007. John 20: 19-31 | ""Why do you look for the living among the dead?" Easter Sunday, 8 April 2007, Luke 24:1-10 | Good Friday 6 April 2007 | Maundy Thursday 5 April 2007 | Why are we not surprised? Palm/Passion Sunday C, 1 April 2007, Luke 22:39-23:50 | Party or Pout? Lent 4C, 18 March 2007, Luke 15:11-32 | To Stand on the Mountaintop, Lent 3C, 11 March 2007, Exodus 3:1-15 | "Ways Not Taken", Lent 2C, 4 March 2007. Luke 13:22-35 | "Liminal Thresholds and Lintels", Lent 1C, 25 February 2007, Luke 4:1-13 | Ash Wednesday Meditation 2007 | "Transfiguration and Transformation, Epiphany Last C, 18 February 2007, Luke 9:28-36 | "Weal and Woe", Epiphany 6C, 11 February 2007, Luke 6:17-26 | "Who, me?" Epiphany 5C, 4 February 2007, Luke 5:1-11 | "Filled with rage!" Epiphany 4C, 28 January 2007, Luke 4:21-32 | "The Spirit of the Lord is upon us," Epiphany 3C, 21 January 2007, Luke 4:14-21 | "Weddings and Miracles," Epiphany 2C, 14 January 2007, John 2:1-11 | Schism and Epiphany, Epiphany 1C, 7 Dec 2007, Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

Palm Passion Sunday C 2007 Luke22:39-23:56

Why are we not surprised that this story, begun as a triumphal entry, ends this way at the foot of the Cross. Ends in a scandal, in a cruel punishment reserved for the dregs of, and greatest threats to, society. Why are we not surprised?

After all, his life began in a scandal. He was conceived out of wedlock to a young peasant woman who may have been only twelve years old. Her scandalized fiancÚ almost didn’t go through with the marriage. He wanted to send her away to have her child in disgrace and in private. But for some reason he chose not to do so.

His very birth took place under scandalous circumstances. Too poor to afford more than a donkey, his mother and her husband trudged by foot from Nazareth to Bethlehem about one hundred road miles, probably sleeping on the ground. Unable to bribe an innkeeper in Bethlehem, they took shelter in a manger, with a thatch roofed shelter over the food for livestock. The manger proper was his crib.

Born in one obscure village he grew up in another. He learned the humble trade of carpenter from Joseph, his mother’s husband. Carpenters ranked with shepherds and fishermen as the lowest classes of society. Even at that he became unemployed around the age of thirty when he became a vagabond, a migrant, a wandering preacher up and down the dusty roads and hills of Galilee. He no longer had a permanent roof over his head, sleeping in the open at night with a ragged band of followers made up largely of the outcast and same lower classes. And scandalous as well was the presence of women among this group who wandered and slept in the open as he did.

For three years he led this life of the itinerant preacher. He preached at every opportunity, whether on the road, or on mountainsides, or in the valley in between. He never wrote a book. He never held either an elected or appointive office. He didn't go to college or rabbinical school. He only visited one significant city, Jerusalem. He never traveled more than one hundred miles from the place from where he was born. He never built a church building, synagogue, or temple.

But he humbled himself and emptied himself. He forgot, he did not remember. He forgave. He let the past be in the past. He took up and took on the form of a servant who washed the dusty, dirty feet of his friends and disciples.

He was the one who calmed the raging sea, who spoke in parables, who turned water to wine. He ate with sinners, and he had time for everyone, the lonely, the poor, depressed, men and woman and children alike, the disinherited, the outcast, the fringes, the forgotten, the despised.

He comforted, and sorrowed with, two women friends on the death of their brother, Lazarus. He raised the dead. He drove the moneychangers from the temple. He healed the blind, cured the lame, cast out the demons. He rode another humble donkey one time, into Jerusalem.

At the age of 33, he was killed by the Romans, sent to his death by a man named Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands, while the high priest Caiaphas and King Herod sentenced him to death. He was brutally tortured, exhausted, and then crucified as a common criminal between two common criminals, abandoned by most of his disciples and friends, bled to death on the Cross.

He had the very common name of Jeshua in Aramaic and Hebrew, Joshua in English, ‘Ihsous in Koine Greek. We call him Jesus.

So why are we surprised at the way he ended? Why are we here?

We know the end of the story. We look across the dark overtones of Holy Week, beyond the shadow of the Cross of Good Friday. We know that he had no end.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of Man, the word made flesh and dwelt among us, the glory of the Father's only son, of one being with the Father; God from God, light from light, true God from true God. The Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the all and everything. Our Lord and our Savior.