Palm Sunday: Let’s talk about Jesus!

By Andrew Symes
Over the last few weeks, all over the country the church has been engaged in mission. Local churches have been running “Real Lives” and “Passion for Life” events, student Christian Unions have followed up the successful one-to-one “Uncover” Gospel reading programme with the traditional Lent mission weeks. Alpha and Christianity Explored courses have continued to draw in those from the fringes and on the outside of church life. Even some Bishops have been leading evangelistic events, talking about Christ from the Scriptures, sharing their own faith in him, and urging listeners to repent and believe. Congregations have also been demonstrating Christ’s love in practical ways, hosting food banks, debt counselling services, cafes, and parent and toddler drop ins. We look forward to hearing stories of lives transformed and numbers increasing in churches! 

As we approach Easter, there is a compelling argument that mission should be the focus of positive news about the church, rather than the internal disputes that give us such a bad name. “Lets stop talking about sex, and rather talk about Jesus! Lets stop criticising the culture, and instead be good news for the culture!” On the other hand, Palm Sunday reminds us that talking about Jesus is not the same as a chaplaincy role that accepts the status quo and steers away from the controversial issues of the day.

As our Lord prepared to enter Jerusalem from Jericho, perhaps he had had the same thoughts about the message and tone of his mission, and maybe even discussed them with his disciples. How are we going to play this? Be affirming of the ruling powers and prevailing philosophies, and leverage them to our advantage? Work within the religious systems and with the current leaders towards a renewed faith?

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