“My God! My God! The Lord hath need of ME!?!”
Who is saying this?
The Twelve Disciples standing behind Jesus as he rides the donkey?
The crowd which is before Jesus as he is about to enter the city gates?
The small man in the tree – remember the newly repentant Zacchaeus?
The small man in front of the donkey holding the palm in his hand?
The donkey itself as it carries Jesus on its back with a small smile on its face?
The owner of the donkey who gave his ascent to his animal being taken away by men he never met before who told him simply: “The Lord Hath Need of It?”
The City of Jerusalem itself now in the midst of celebrating the Passover?
The citizens of Jerusalem aware and/or unaware of Jesus’ arrival?
The Priests and Workers of the Temple – the Center of Religious Life for the Jewish people. Where people come to worship and sacrifice as God requires?
How about the mountain – “The Mount of Olives?”
How about the rocks on the ground which the people and donkey walk on?
How about the man, Itinerant Master Rabbi Jesus Himself?
A whole lot of revelation is going on here – each one singularly unique!
Each one saying to themselves ….
Each one shouting unto and into the heavens ….
“MY GOD! MY GOD! THE LORD HATH NEED OF ME!”
“MY GOD! MY GOD! THE LORD HATH NEED OF ME?”
And so, Jesus comes unto the city …. on the back of a donkey ……
This is the moment they were living in, as the events unfolded.
It is now the 21st Century, the year of our Lord and Savior 2022.
Today is Palm Sunday – we will gather for worship this morning.
We will have our families with us.
Those who only come once or twice a year – will miraculously appear.
We have those who cannot or will not come to church – but have some connection to a social media site – Facebook, or You Tube, or ZOOM.
God will (hopefully, prayerfully) have their undivided attention again.
We still have the ancient stories of the Gospel narratives.
We have the benefit of history.
We have the benefit of their struggles and the fruits of their labors.
We have the benefit of the full Biblical Canon, God’s Holy Scriptures.
We have the benefit of commentaries and sermons and devotions.
We read, re-read these Gospel Narratives year after year after year.
As we consider one angle after another trying to be original, trying to reach the older generations and communicate to current and coming generations of both believers and non-believers alike – unto into those “great clouds of witnesses,” “MY GOD! MY GOD! THE LORD HATH NEED OF ME!?!
What are we to anticipate in the coming minutes and hours ahead?
As we consider the words – “THE LORD HATH NEED OF ME ….”
Relevant or Irrelevant?
Absolutely Meaningful or Utterly Useless?
Are we exclaiming it or are we questioning it?
Are we accepting the possibility or are we brushing it away and denying it?
Is anybody even seriously reading or studying, listening or praying, teaching or preaching the critically true meaning and absolute importance to the words?
“MY GOD! MY GOD! THE LORD HATH NEED OF ME!?!
Luke 19:28-40 Amplified Bible
The Triumphal Entry
28 After saying these things, Jesus went on ahead [of them], going up to Jerusalem.
29 When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a [donkey’s] [a]colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anybody asks you, ‘Why are you untying the colt?’ you will say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 So those who were sent left and found the colt just as He had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35 They brought it to Jesus, and [b]they threw their robes over the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As He rode along, people were spreading their coats on the road [as an act of homage before a king]. 37 As soon as He was approaching [Jerusalem], near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the entire multitude of the disciples [all those who were or claimed to be His followers] began praising God [adoring Him enthusiastically and] joyfully with loud voices for all the miracles and works of power that they had seen, 38 shouting,
“Blessed (celebrated, praised) is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory (majesty, splendor) in the highest [heaven]!”
39 Some of the Pharisees from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples [for shouting these Messianic praises].” 40 Jesus replied, “I tell you, if these [people] keep silent, the stones will cry out [in praise]!”
The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.
The Lord Needs It – Luke 19:34
I wonder how much our faith, hope and love would affect our daily lives if we lived to exclusively serve Christ’s needs instead of our own?
Is that even possible? Would our churches be filled with people on Sundays because the Lord needed them to be there? Would missions throughout the world be fully funded because the Lord needs affluent Christians in the West to ‘pony up’ and provide from their ample resources all that is needed by Christ to medicate, educate, feed and clothe people living in poverty across the globe?
If we are 100% comfortable doing religious things without being challenged by the radical nature of the surprise and scandal of the Gospel, then we are going to go through life as spiritually shallow people.
However, if we take time to really think about what Christ needs us to do with our lives and resources, then everything will change about how we ‘do’ church and how we share our faith.
The owners of the colt in today’s Gospel passage (Luke 19:28-36) could have told the disciples to “get lost or I will call the cops”, or that it was inconvenient, or that it would be okay the next day. They didn’t do that; when they heard the words “The Lord Needs It,” they gave over the colt freely and perhaps gladly.
In these 21st century times, would we be so accommodating or dismissive?
The Lord hath need of many things from each and every one of us ……
YEA OR NAY ……
21 So get rid of all uncleanness and [a]all that remains of wickedness, and with a humble spirit receive the word [of God] which is implanted [actually rooted in your heart], which is able to save your souls. 22 But prove yourselves doers of the word [actively and continually obeying God’s precepts], and not merely listeners [who hear the word but fail to internalize its meaning], deluding yourselves [by unsound reasoning contrary to the truth]. 23 For if anyone only listens to the word [b]without obeying it, he is like a man who looks very carefully at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he immediately forgets [c]what he looked like. (James 1:21-24 Amplified)
Questions for personal reflection
What does the Lord need of me?
Am I willing to give my time, talents, and resources to Him for His work?
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Lord Jesus, Your Gospel brings goodness and forgiveness, strength and love into our lives. It also presents us with unique challenges and causes us to reflect upon our daily choices. Help us so to live according to Your needs and liberate us from our insecurities, as well as our desires. In Your Holy Name, we cheerfully pray. Amen.