“Psalm Sunday” Sermon / Phillipians 2:5-11; John 12:12-19; Psalm 118; Deuteronomy 32:36-39 / Pr. Lucas A. Albrecht / Sunday April 14th 2019 / Palm Sunday / Mount Olive Lutheran Church
Text: Philippians 2:5-11, with Psalm 118, Dt 32 and The Gospel
Theme: “Psalm Sunday”
Intr – The theme for my sermon for Palm Sunday is “Psalm Sunday”. I’m using “psalm” here as synonym for hymns, songs, music. The reason for my choice today is that we see hymns all over our Bible lessons today. Psalm 118 is a hymn sung by the crowds on Palm Sunday “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord”; in Deuteronomy 32, whereas we read that Moses said things to the people, the Hebrew word is likely to mean singing. Then, as Jesus enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday riding on a donkey music is all around Him. Finally, the epistle for today, Philippians 2:6-11 is written as a hymn in the Greek original.
Somewhere else in the Bible Paul would say: “singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col 3:16). It would be fair to think here that they might stand for the Past(Psalms), the Present(Hymns) and the Future(Spiritual, new songs). It points to variety, different ways, different styles, and all pointing to the same One who comes in the Name of the Lord - Jesus. Singing is something very familiar to the people of God since most ancient times. Today, then, we will mostly sing a sermon. It will be a Psalm Sunday message.
First, the story of Palm Sunday. We've already sung the hymn “Blessed is the coming King” today which describes that Sunday. Here’s another angle to it:
(Hosanna, loud Hosanna, LSB #443)
1 Hosanna, loud hosanna,The little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple The lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them,Close folded to His breast,
The children sang their praises,The simplest and the best.
2 From Olivet they followed Mid an exultant crowd,
The victor palm branch waving And chanting clear and loud.
The Lord of earth and heaven Rode on in lowly state
Nor scorned that little children Should on His bidding wait.
3 "Hosanna in the highest!"That ancient song we sing;
For Christ is our Redeemer, The Lord of heav'n our King.
Oh, may we ever praise Him With heart and life and voice
And in His blissful presence Eternally rejoice!
On Psalm 118 we find one of the hymns people were singing as Jesus was entering Jerusalem. Jesus is the "Blessed one who comes in the name of the Lord." We will do now an exercise trying to have a grasp on how it sounded on that day. We will sing two verses of Psalm 118 in Hebrew, the original language of the OT:
(Baruk ha-ba beshem adonai)
::Baruk ha-bah beshem Adonai beraknu-kem mibbet Adonai.::
::Hoowdu L’Adonai ki Towb, ki Le-owlam haas-dow.::
In Deuteronomy 32, whereas we read that Moses said things to the people, the Hebrew word is likely to mean singing. It is a sort of a swan song - the singing of prophet who knows he will die. He sings about the Goodness of God toward His People. the restoration He Provides, His incomprehensible love. He shows how he is the One in control and how our life and death, bond and freedom depend on Him. He was in control of the whole Passion Narrative, and it happened according to His will and His purpose. The Son comes to willingly fulfill the Father’s plan. Then we sing:
(Unending, Great Love, Brazilian LSB #269)
1. Unending, great love is in Jesus, our Lord.
From heavens above he came to shed his blood.
Becoming like us salvation brought thus.
2. Unending, great love is in Jesus, because
His obedience drove Him to death on the Cross.
We wander no more; but faithf’lly adore.
3. Unending, great love is in Christ, Son of God.
Forgiv’ness thereof comes to us like a flood.
Faith leads us to know this Grace He has showed.
4. When Christ, Son of God, in our place His life gave
like no one else could, and then raised from the grave,
now let’s live in praise and love, by His Grace.
And as we realize by faith the Greatness, Goodness of our Lord; as we place faith in Jesus as the One who comes in the name of the Lord to die for us, to save us. As we give thanks for this unending, great love, our hearts sing:
(Praise to the Lord the Almighty, LSB #790)
1 Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is your health and salvation!
Let all who hear Now to His temple draw near,
Joining in glad adoration!
2 Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things is wondrously reigning And, as on wings of an eagle, uplifting, sustaining.
Have you not seen All that is needful has been
Sent by His gracious ordaining?
5 Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in us adore him!
All that has life and breath, come now with praises before Him! Let the Amen Sound from His people again;
Gladly forever adore him!
That Palm Sunday was a Psalm Sunday. We hear shouts of joy and adoration. But Jesus knew that soon shouts of joy would become shouts of rage and hate. Even son, our savior is willing to enter Jerusalem and endure all things until the end – because He loved us. He loved the world. On the hymn we have in the epistle, Paul describes this humbleness, this willingness in a beautiful hymn. We don’t actually have the original tune, so we could make, as mentioned before, a "spiritual song", a new song to the Lord.
(Philippians 2:6-11 - Lucas Andre Albrecht, 2019)
Though he was in the form of God,
He did not count equality with God
a thing to be grasped,
but emptied himself, becoming a servant,
being born in the likeness of men.
being found in human form,
he humbled himself
n’ was obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!
to the glory of the Father, Jesus is Lord!
Therefore God has highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
that is above every name,
so that at His name every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that:
::Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father
to the glory of the Father, Jesus is Lord!::
A profound love; an incomprehensible one, as we see in the OT reading; as we contemplate it on Psalm 118. We feel it as we see Jesus riding resolutely into Jerusalem to accomplish His work. We realize it as we read Philippians and hear about the Son of God who humbles Himself in order to do the will of the Father.
This love is for you. This love is for us. This is incomprehensible to the ears of the world, that’s why many don’t believe it. Perhaps that’s why I saw this poll the other day - as much as you can trust polls - showing that atheism has just edged out Christianity to become the largest religion in America as of now. It's because a God like that cannot exist to the human ability of understanding. But Yahweh says in Dt: "I am he." I am God. I am in control. This is why we have Palm Sunday, because He is in the control of everything so they would happen in the exact time and place He designed them to happen. An Unending, Great Love for each one of us.
This is not a thing to be heard inside the Church as a “Church thing”. This is not only for Sunday morning. This is for Tuesday afternoon, this is for Friday Morning, this is for Saturday evening. This is for our everyday life. This message impacts our life, changes our mind. Here, there, everywhere we can always sing:
(Jesus, my Lord - Lucas and Djenane Albrecht)
Jesus, my Lord!
Now I come to you
with my heart and soul
filled up with your praise.
You’re always there surrounding me;
even Creation tells you’re near me day and night.
I will thank Your love
that keeps me in the path.
Bless me as I bring,
to you all the gifts (you have endowed me),
and in your hands I give my life.
Cc - Palm Sunday. A Psalm Sunday. A Day to remember – God’s unending love. A day to rejoice – in His great work of Love. This is a day to believe, place faith in His work of Salvation. This is a day to render, in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs our praise and honor to the One who comes in the name of the Lord. As we worship our King, as we celebrate His work of Love and Grace for us, we sing about His,
(Amazing Grace, LSB #744 [my chains are gone])
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now I'm found; was blind, but now I see.
My chains are gone, I've been set free!
My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns.
Unending love, amazing grace.
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
we’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we'd first begun.