no ordinary …

Thought I’d share something a bit different.   It came to me this morning – at church this Sunday (Palm/Passion Sunday), rather than the usual sermon, share something that’s more like poem.
So, how would it be to share a longer Palm Sunday poem, with four sections – the sections beginning with the words:

  • This is no ordinary donkey
  • This is no ordinary Messiah
  • This is no ordinary crowd
  • This is (we are) no ordinary people

Knowing me, text is bound to change between now and Sunday morning, but for now, here it is.  Feel free to use/adapt …

no ordinary

This is no ordinary donkey

this is no ordinary beast of burden

no grand warhorse here

just a humble donkey

but no ordinary donkey this one:

this animal carrying God’s peace-message

God’s life and hope message

God’s message of freedom

God’s message of salvation

God’s way home

the Way.

message of peace

living message

the message

the good news

Christ – the prince of peace

This Christ-carrier

this colt never before ridden

this animal

answer to disciples’ obedience

journeys through adoring crowd

coats, cloaks, palms

laid out in royal carpet

as royal tapestry

no pack-mule work for this donkey

no dusty roadway

this is no ordinary donkey

no

this is the one who sets the Christ forward

forward on a journey of destiny

a journey that ends

no … begins at a cross

this is no ordinary donkey

———————————–

this is no ordinary crowd

no ordinary crowd, this one

this mass of Passover humanity

how they welcome the Nazarene

how they worship and adore him

this the Christ

this the Messiah

this the answer

the answer – to the hopes and dreams of centuries

no ordinary crowd

no holding back this crowd

palms, cloaks, branches, everything

the red carpet treatment for this man

adulation at fever pitch for

the one who will set them free

free indeed.

No ordinary crowd

no ordinary crowd, this one

blessed the one

blessed the King who comes

in the name of the Lord.

peace on earth they cry

glory in the highest heaven.

no ordinary crowd for these words

these words

words echoing down from Bethlehem

30 amazing years past:

words at a birth

words at a manger

words of welcome

words of angels

words of blessing

words of Emmanuel

no ordinary crowd

a fickle crowd

a crowd changeable like the seasons

chameleon really.

Hosanna – God saves, they once cry

Hosanna in the highest

once on exuberant lips

words of blessing

words of betrayal

chameleons really

Crucify him!

Crucify him! they sing out.

no ordinary crowd

one day – Jesus high in praise

week’s end – Jesus high on a cross

———————————————–

This is no ordinary Messiah

a most unlikely, far-from-ordinary welcome

no pomp or power from this royalty

no pomp or power

just humble obedience

no ordinary Messiah

this Jesus of Nazareth

in obedience he travels the way

eats and drinks with sinners

faithful to God to the end

frees the captive

rescues the lost

welcomes the rejected

responsive to the Spirit

humble obedience – that’s what it is

as Jesus sets his face to Jerusalem

as Jesus sets his course to Calvary

This is no ordinary Messiah

this teaching, healing,

miracle-working, rebuking

affirming, carpenter’s son.

this is no ordinary Messiah

this prophet not of power but of peace

this Jesus who sets his face to a violence

a violence so shocking

a violence so scandalous

a violence so plain wrong

that this God-bearer

this Christ at week’s end takes on

takes away

the sin of the world.

This is no ordinary Messiah

This is Christ who carried a cross

this is Christ:

Christ who calls:

lose your life

that you might find it.

————————————–

This is no ordinary people

we are no ordinary people

Though separated by 2000 years of time

will we run and hide like those disciples

when the going gets tough?

will we sing our joyful blessings

when it all suits us, then

live our lies when no one’s watching?

Or will we allow the Christ of the manger

to move in our lives

as the Christ of the cross

Christ who is peace

Christ who is service

Christ who is love

Christ who is salvation?

“Glory to God in the highest!

Peace on earth to all people”

is that our mantra:

the hallmark of our living?

Is that the flesh and blood, yes,

the lifeblood of all we are,

all we seek to be?

will your life

will my life

predicate itself on Christ’s obedience:

consistent

faithful

focused

faith-seeking

faith-declaring

God-dependent to the end.

obedience beyond all obedience

“Glory to God … peace on earth” –

the pulse

the rhythm

the drumbeat marking the steps

along our pilgrim way:

the pilgrim way

the way that knows not a cradle

without a cross

the way of Christ:

Christ – the truth, the life –

the Way.

This is no ordinary Christ

donkey-carried through Jerusalem

We are no ordinary people

We – followers of the Way:

followers of the one who dies

who dies for the sin –

the sin of the world

We – we hear Christ’s call

Tom, Joan, Bill

Jack, Mary, David

add your own name if you like

We carry

We life our own cross daily

Carry that cross

That cross of obedience

Obedience, faithfulness

One with Christ

into all the complexities, challenges,

diversities, peaks and valleys,

death and life encounters

that Christ suffers, dies and rises for

We are no ordinary people

In our baptism

We die with Christ

We rise with Christ

We live in the shadow of the cross;

The hope of an empty tomb

Christ journeys to the cross

and so too must we journey;

we must stumble forward toward Jerusalem

God’s grace – it carries us

Carries us every step of the way

this week

this hour

this moment

we make way for Jesus

no ordinary Messiah

we – no ordinary people

belonging

belonging to the world which Christ

so loves, he offers his life for

that we might know life

life forever

life beyond measure

We make way for Jesus

a way no longer adorned

with palms and praises

a way, a future

in which Jesus is Lord

Jesus is Lord

Jesus is Redeemer of the world

We are no ordinary people

This is no ordinary Jesus Christ

Blessed is the one who comes

in the name of the Lord

David MacGregor
© 2010

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