Preached before the service begins – so as not to interupt the ‘flow’!

Palm Sunday…
 – a day with a heavy load of SCRIPTURE…
 – FOUR readings: Gospel, OT, NT, Passion…
  – even if the passion is a ‘shortened’ form…!
 – it’s a lot to take in…!

So, a question…
 – what is scripture FOR…?
 – what is its purpose…?
 – what part does it play in the life of a Christian…?

There are various answers we could offer…
 – some of them can be found within scripture itself…
 – classic one, from St Paul:                                (2Tim.3.16)
“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful
for teaching, for reproof, for correction,
and for training in righteousness…”

 – several passages talk about scripture as being able to be  ‘fulfilled’…
  – so perhaps it’s also useful for pointing to the future,
   or to something deeper…

Generally speaking scripture is usually seen as ‘something we can get something out of’
 – something that benefits, or teaches us…

This is all true…
 – but I would like to suggest to you that there is another purpose,
  another function, of scripture…
 – that it’s not just something we can get something out of OUT OF…
 – but that it’s something that we can also get INTO…

Today we are going to hear the story of the ‘Passion’…
 – the death of Jesus…

How many times have you heard it before…?

Are you going to get something different or new out of it this time…?

Maybe not…!

But in this setting at least, that is not its function…
 – we are not here today to be taught, or reproved, or corrected, or trained…
 – we are here today to be invited to enter into the experience of the passion…

I think that the primary function of scripture is to draw us into the story…
 – to make us part of it…

When Jesus said ‘Do this in remembrance of me’
 – he wasn’t just talking about the Eucharist, Holy Communion…
 – he was talking about the fullness of faith, including scripture…

The word ‘remembrance’ in this context doesn’t just mean ‘remember’…
 – it means ‘remember’, and ‘re-enact’
 and bring what we re-enact out of the past and into the present…
 – to make it real again today…

That’s why we can say, “This IS the body/blood of Christ”…
        “This IS the word/gospel/passion of Christ”…

We make a connection…!

Today we are invited to stand with those who stood by the cross 2000 years ago…
 – not to learn, or to be instructed…
 – but simply to be part of it all, to be there!

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