Thursday, March 29, 2012

Palm Sunday

As great as this week's news has been, a thousand years from now who will remember the Pope’s visit to Cuba? Not likely. Every year for almost 2,000 years we have remembered and celebrated Jesus’ last visit to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. All around the world today people in churches are celebrating Christ riding in, like a conquering king, on the back of a donkey, to the shouts of hosannas and the waving of palms. Why is this event so important that it is recorded in all four Gospels?

We find an answer to that question about the significance and importance of Palm Sunday by noting that in John’s Gospel it’s recorded that the people “took palm branches and went out to meet him”. Why does John specifically mention palm branches whereas the other gospels just say branches were cut down and waved and laid on the road? Maybe the other writers assumed a certain knowledge of what kind of trees were around at that time and John who wrote later needed to be more specific to make a point. But John being John, he usually has a reason for why he adds information that others don’t and this is no different.

The palm leaves of Palm Sunday have a connection with the past and a connection with the future.

First looking to the past. A special festival date was the Day of Atonement. The people of Israel would acknowledge that their sin had severely affected their lives especially their relationship with God and with one another. The High Priest would bring in two goats, one to sacrifice, and on the other he placed the sins of the people and then drove the goat out into the desert taking with it all the evil of the people. Then they would celebrate the Feast of the Tents and remembered how God had brought them through the desert where they had lived for 40 years in tents. This remembering was to be a time of great celebration and thanksgiving. In Leviticus God says, “On that day take some of the best fruit from your trees, take palm branches and limbs from leafy trees, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for seven days” (Leviticus 23:40).

The great temple of Jerusalem was decorated with palms and palm fronds carved into its pillars and covered with gold. Palms came to symbolize the strength, the victory, the ability to overcome all things, the deliverance, the forgiveness and renewal that only comes from God. The temple was the place where God and people met together, where sins were forgiven, and where people came to celebrate the greatness of God.

Now to look to the future. We are transported to heaven and given a glimpse of what is happening there. The writer says, “I saw a vast crowd …. standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout, ‘Salvation belongs to our God on the throne and from the Lamb!’” (Revelation 7:9-10). The Lamb is Jesus and the people gathered around him are you and me and all those who have been given the victory over sin and death through trusting in Jesus. We have something to shout about and wave palms of victory. He is the one who enabled us to come through the trials and troubles and failings of this life. Jesus is our Saviour and worthy of our praise and thanks.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Prayer Ministry of MSJ

March, 2012

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In July, 2011 +Fredrick G. Fick, Father General of Missionary Society of St John (MSJ) established a community of Brothers and Sisters within the society. Two Brothers took first vows at that time and were sent back to their home parishes to teach, to minister to the sick and the poor and to pray. It is concerning the area of prayer that I write. We need your help. The Lord has led us to expand the walls of the prayer tent and reach out to the MSJ Community and the Missionary Dioceses of All Saints.

We pray daily for the society, the dioceses and the Anglican Church in general but we would like to enter into prayer for the specific needs of our brothers and sisters in the wider community by offering prayers of intercession and special intentions for those who desire such prayer. We would be most blessed to pray for your needs as we pray our Daily Office.

Should you wish to contact us for your prayer needs or perhaps you would like to partner with us in prayer please contact Br Lynn at praymsj (at) .

Please forward this letter to those members, parishioners and family members of MSJ/MDAS.

Peace and All Good,

Br Lynn E. Jenkins, MSJ

“If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve.” MT

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Prayer Petitions For Lent II, Year B

In faith, let us pray to the Lord, saying….

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

You are God Almighty,

The one who provides his people with a beautiful inheritance.

Keep us from turning aside to other hopes,

For apart from you we have no good thing.

Help us to know the security of your joy-filled presence,

That our lives might be marked by hopeful gratitude.

We give glory to you, O-Lord-Who-Provides,

And we praise you for graciously giving us all things,

Fully convinced that nothing will separate us from your love.

We ask that You would sustain us this week,

And we trust that you are present with us every day.

Give us a hunger for your word,

And help us to make space to listen to you.

We confess our need for you:

For your wisdom and guidance,

For your protection and provision,

For your help and comfort.

In every area of our lives we need you, Lord,

And we ask that you would be our daily portion.

Lord, you know us through and through.

Look in the deep places of our beings, and create in us clean hearts.

Give us a right abhorrence for our own sins.

Help us to be alert and self-controlled,

That we may flee the snares of our enemy.

Reveal areas of unconfessed sin,

And give us godly sorrow that leads to repentance.

Show us where we have withheld forgiveness,

And, because of your great mercy, grant us grace to forgive others.

Deliver us from evil, Merciful Father,

And sustain us with your gracious and bountiful Spirit.

Contact Information

11195 S. Grayling Rd.
Roscommon, MI 48653

Telephone: 586-264-6044
msjanglican "at"