Week 5 - SUBMERGE - Part 2

On November 2nd, 2016, the Cubs won the World Series for the first time in 108 years. On November 4th, 2016, a projected 5 million people flooded the streets of Chicago and Grant Park to cheer and celebrate as the Cubs passed by on their victory parade. Every human society has its moments of procession. During the life of Jesus, cultures commemorated victories with
triumphal processions. Palm Sunday is when the Church reflects on Jesus’ triumphal procession, to celebrate the day that the long awaited king had come to claim victory. In Zechariah’s messianic prophecy of the event, we find the paradox of a “triumphant and victorious” king who is so humble as to ride on a donkey (Zechariah 9). Jesus’s own triumphal procession led to his atoning death and we are reminded by his entry into Jerusalem that he never promised the absence of suffering. His path toward victory included carrying our cross. His procession highlights the gap between what people expect in following Jesus as Messiah, and what his walk was actually like.

In all of this we are reminded to fix our eyes on Jesus who is the author and perfecter of our faith. Who, for the joy set before him he endured the cross, despising the shame and is now seated at the right hand of the Father (Hebrews 12:2).

Key Questions

Hosanna means “save now.” What did the
people think Jesus would save them from? (Zechariah 9:9-17)

Why was Jesus’ entry so significant in light of Zechariah 9:9?

Luke 19:41 says Jesus wept over Jerusalem. In your own words explain why?

Why did Jesus have to suffer?

It is fascinating that Christianity is the only religious faith that says that God himself actually suffered. The early disciples came to realize that Jesus’s suffering was of immense good to them, because they would eventually = see that they had been looking right at the greatest act of God’s love, power, and justice in history. God came into the world and suffered and died on the cross in order to save us. It is the ultimate proof of his love for us. If you doubt the love of God for you, you just have to look at the cross. If you doubt that God cares, you just have to look at the cross. If you doubt that God sees you and values you and pursues you, and forgives you, just look at the cross! But the cross also has something to say about our own suffering, because when you suffer, you may be completely in the dark about the reason for your own suffering. It may seem as senseless to you as Jesus’s suffering seemed to the disciples. But the cross tells you what the reason isn’t. It can’t be that God doesn’t love you; it can’t be that he has no plan for you. The cross proves that he loves you and understands what it means to suffer. It also demonstrates that God can be working in your life even when it seems like there is no rhyme or reason to what is happening. Philosopher Albert Camus, the famous existentialist, realized that if you look at the cross, you could no longer go through suffering in the same way. Camus said, “the God-man also suffers, and does so with patience. . . he too is shattered and dies. The night on Golgotha only has so much significance for man because in its darkness the Godhead, visibly renouncing all inherited privileges, endures to the end the anguish of death, including the depths of despair.”


For more study on the death of Jesus: Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Prayers for the Church

As a confessing act of unity and faith with Christ’s Church globally, read aloud the following liturgy:

Soul of Christ, sanctify us;
body of Christ, save us;
blood of Christ, inebriate us;
water from the side of Christ, wash us;
passion of Christ, strengthen us.
O good Jesus, hear us;
within your wounds hide us;
suffer me not to be separated from you;
from the malicious enemy defend us;
in the hour of my death call us,
and bid us come to you
that with your saints I may praise you
forever and ever.

(Common Prayer: A Liturgy of Ordinary Radicals)

At this time offer up prayers for Christ’s Church around the world.

After praying, read the following:

Through our lives and by our prayers : may your kingdom come!
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayers for the City

With the welfare of the city of Chicago in mind read the scripture and following liturgy:

Jeremiah 29:4–5, 7

Our Father

Lord, show us that reconciling with those we imagine are different from us is not only for peace, but also to train us more deeply in the faith that honors everything created by your hand. Help us see that reconciliation leads to deeper knowledge of you. Amen.

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you,
wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness,
protect you through the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing,
at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing,
once again into our doors.

(Common Prayer: A Liturgy of Ordinary Radicals)

At this time offer up prayers for racial reconciliation in the city of Chicago. Pray that God will heal our vastly diverse and segregated city of racism. Pray also that God would use the Church in Chicago to stand against racial conflict, violence, and prejudice. As the body of Christ we must lead the way towards racial reconciliation, modeling Christ-like love to sisters and brothers from all ethnic backgrounds.

After, pray the following aloud over this beautiful city in which God has placed us:

Like the blind man whom Jesus healed,
May Chicago become a sign
of your glory, calling you the Anointed One,
The one who also anoints us and points us to the Love of God.
Grant us your healing peace. Amen.

He was despised and rejected— a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Isaiah 53:3–5