“Rooted in Resurrection: Returning Home” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

April 7th,2022 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter
Beloved Friends,

Greetings to you this rainy day. I hope that you are all staying warm and dry as we journey these last few days of Lent and begin Holy Week this Sunday. This Sunday we are so excited to be joining back together in person after two years apart although never separated. There are some communal expectations for gathering back together so please be sure to review the letter from Pastor Kaji and myself that can be found in today’s newsletter. To say I have missed you all is an understatement, and I cannot wait to return to our faith home and worship in the sanctuary at 11am this Sunday. Of course, if you cannot join us, we will continue to also be online for all our ministries and experiences.

This Sunday starts Holy Week with Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is such a holy day in which we are called to reflect and be reminded of the full journey of the life of Jesus and the ways his life and our lives intersect. This week’s passage from Matthew seems so appropriate as Jesus makes his way back to Jerusalem and our community starts our journey back as well. Reading through this passage I am struck by the way the Year W translations tells the stories of the relationships Jesus has with his family, to his community, and to God and I can’t help but wonder how we will tell our stories of this time apart – both individual and collective – to each other. These past few years have been filled with great challenges and joys, though we tend to share the stories of one over the other. But what happens when we chose to share our whole selves? The times of struggle and the times of triumph in the ways that Jesus does? What might we gain from the truth of one another as we start to make our way back to incarnate community? As you read this Sunday’s passage, I invite you to think about all the people named in the story, and those that aren’t and imagine what they may have to share about this moment with Jesus and how it might be similar or different from our own experience this Sunday. So, lets read together from the Book of Matthew and as always there are some reflection questions to follow.

Now they had come near Jerusalem and reached Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village before you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; release them and bring them to me.  If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Son of Woman needs them.’ And they will send them immediately.”  This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
 “Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Look, your sovereign is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that were going before him and the one following were shouting, saying:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Holy One!
Hosanna in the highest!”
When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was shook, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew 21:1-11 (Year W)

  • Who is named in this story and who is not? Why do you think that is?
  • Are there stories in your life that have impacted that you were not present for?
  • How do you think Jesus is feeling in this story?
  • Does calling Jesus “the Son of Woman” change anything for you in your relationship with Jesus.
  • What are you looking forward to about Holy Week and what are you anxious about?

What a gift it is to serve and worship a God who journeys with us and for us. I look forward to our time together this Sunday and to hear all that God has done and is doing in your life.

Shalom Y’all
Rev. Stephanie

Simple Prayer: O God, “You are the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee”. Amen