Category Archives: passion week

Call to Worship: Inaugural Events (Palm Sunday)

When the United States elects a president for a first term, I find the inauguration fascinating. People line the streets and cheer, some because they simply honor the office and this might be their one chance to see the president of the United States of America, while others add to it their hope. The candidate they voted for has won, and this is a celebration of a new era. Those who did not vote for the president still watch the ceremony on television, and wonder what the next four years will bring. We attach symbolism to whether the new president walks or rides in a car down Pennsylvania Avenue, the chosen guest speakers and performers, and the president’s first official act, often signing a piece of legislation or policy.


Call to Worship: Palm Sunday

This Call to Worship was inspired by Mike Cosper’s A Call to Worship for Palm Sunday – From Philippians 2.

One of the stories we have of Jesus in the Gospels is the temptations of Jesus by Satan. Jesus was tempted for 40 days, and overcame Satan. Someone could easily think that after beating Satan, Jesus went through the rest of his life never facing temptation again,  but we should consider Palm Sunday. Before Jesus entered Jerusalem, he had been telling his disciples that he was going to suffer and die in Jerusalem. Then when he arrived at Jerusalem, he is greeted as king. Jesus could have declared his kingship, and been supported; that had to be a temptation. It is very similar to a temptation by the devil. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me” (Matt. 4:8-9). We are thankful that Jesus did not give in to temptation to be made king by the devil or human means.

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:6-11

©2011 Paul Tillman