Holy Week Services at St John's:

Good Friday service will be at 7:00pm. Easter service will be Saturday at 5:00pm and Sunday at 9:00am.

(Maunday Thursday service will be held at our sister congregation, Zion Lutheran Church in Lorain, at 7:00 pm.)

HE IS RISEN!

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A Word for this Week - Pastor Bill Mugnolo

Week of 4-15—21, 2019: “Donkey Sunday” … John 12:14-15

The image of Jesus riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday is so fixed in our minds that we could just as easily call the day of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, “Donkey Sunday.” The donkey, in fact, symbolizes this day in several different ways:

First, the donkey was a symbol of humility. In ancient times, when a conquering king, backed by his armies, wanted to announce to those he was on the verge of conquering, “I have come in peace”, he would do so by riding towards the city not on a white horse, but on a lowly donkey. So too did Jesus enter Jerusalem—to bring to us, by His cross and resurrection, true and lasting peace with God (John 14:27, Romans 5:1-2). This He did by humbling Himself even unto death itself (Philippians 2:6-8).

Secondly, the donkey is a creature that we often think of as being stubborn and foolish. In a way, this animal points to who we are as sinners. Ishmael, the older son of Abraham, is spoken of as being a “wild donkey of a man” as he would always be in conflict with others (Genesis 16:12). Martin Luther, in his Large Catechism, spoke of our old sinful nature as being like “a donkey around our necks”

When Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem, He controlled and guided that creature with His gentle touch. So too, we might say, He looks to “ride” us and put His gentle touch to our sinful stubborn streak. He looks to bend our often foolish will to His control so that we can bear Him up for all the world to see.

There’s a third thing that the donkey points to—or, should we say here, the donkeys. The donkey colt—which had never been ridden before—would have its mother alongside him as he bore Jesus into the city (Matthew 21:2, 6-7, Mark 11:1-2). This would point as to how Jesus’ mother Mary would be alongside of Him at the foot of the cross just five days later (John 19:25-27). It also points out how the Church and its members are like a mother to us (Revelation 12) as we look to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2).

It was Jesus alone who bore the burden of our sin to the cross—as the cross shaped hairs on the donkey’s back and shoulders remind us. May the rich imagery of Palm Sunday—“Donkey Sunday”--ever remind us of who we are and, even more so, of who Jesus Christ is—to us.

PASTOR JIM UPDATE

Senior Exercise is held at 10 a.m Tuesdays and Fridays in our gym and it is FREE!
Come join us!