Homily by The Rev. Marcia McRae
St. Francis Episcopal Church, Goldsboro, NC, 9 April 2017, Palm Sunday Year A
[Liturgy of the Palms, Matthew 21:1-11]
Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31”9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Matthew 26:14-27:66
How hard it is to hear our Lord Jesus cry out:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
We know life gives us tough times. Yet even in our tough times we have the blessing to know the rest of our Gospel. We are Easter people & know the Good News of Jesus' resurrection, his ascension & the gift of the Holy Spirit.
This is why when life gets tough, when things take a hard, sudden, unexpected turn we can trust God is in charge.
Things took a hard, unexpected turn one Palm Sunday at the church we were members of in Georgia. I remember our stunned, confused looks & the extra confusion of parishioners inside the church when our outside Liturgy of the Palms was delayed.
As he was starting to give instructions about the liturgy, our priest became ill & had to be taken to the hospital & asked me before he left to lead the service since I was in process for ordination.
As we began our liturgy & processed into the church, I scrambled for words to help alleviate the stress with which all of us were so obviously struggling. It's the shortest sermon I've preached.
I explained what happened & assured us: God is in charge. I explained my confidence in this fact is because our Twin Lakes had water despite years of severe drought.
This confidence came from a chat with neighbor who had watched water connecting the lakes disappear. He told me his wife had asked why he wasn't worried & said he assured her rain would come because “God is in charge”.
When we stay centered on God, we respond differently when the unexpected happens. Even on Palm Sunday & through Holy Week & especially on Good Friday we are Easter people. We know the Good News, the rest of the story.
We know the Good News which continually flows with thirst-quenching blessings.