Reflections – Monthly Newsletter

Reflections is the monthly newsletter of the Brookfield Uniting Church.

If you would like a copy, please email Edith McPhee, emcphee@westnet.com.au

Following is the Minister’s Message from the April 2021 issue:

FROM the MINISTER’S DESK

What would you lay down before Him?
As we journey with Jesus this Holy week, as
He prepares to lay it ALL down for us, what
are we prepared to lay down before Him?
Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday
greatly honoured and praised although this
day of praise marks the beginning of what
was to be the culmination of the mission of
Jesus.
The people shouted; “Hosanna!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of
the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our
father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Mark 11:9-10)
The word Hosanna in Hebrew means to “Save!”
“Save!” the crowd shouted.
Without knowing the details, the crowd was clearly articulating what Jesus
came to do.
Hosanna to Praise – Hosanna to Save.
“… Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread
branches they had cut in the fields…” (Mark 11:8)
The laying down of branches was a symbol of victory and triumph and peace!
A king riding into the city on a horse generally communicated war, but a king
riding in on a donkey, signified peace.
It was also the fulfilment of the prophecy from Zechariah 9:9
“…Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey…”3
The people of Jerusalem could see the story unfolding, but Jesus was
communicating that he was a different kind of king – a different kind of saviour.
A King of Peace!
Hosanna to Praise – Hosanna to Save.
Now understanding the context of what was happening at the time Jesus, the
King of peace coming in humility on a donkey….
What would we lay down before Him?
To answer this best, we should ask ourselves, what are the things in our
lives standing in the way of our ability to fully praise and give glory to
God, and engage in the mission of God?
1. Our Pride – Our prideful human nature?
At times we are unaware of our prideful actions…
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector speaks of ….those who were
confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else;

…The Pharisee who stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am
not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax
collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get….And the tax
collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his
breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner…’” (Luke 18:11-13)
2. Our Fears?
Perhaps fear at times stands in our way of praise and missional discipleship.
The fear of Peter to admit that He was a follower of Jesus….because of fear of
what may happen to him
Our fears to ask ourselves, what is it that’s holding us back from fulfilling the mission of God in our community – Our fears of the unknown? Our fears of letting Go and Letting God do God!
Or is it our Doubts holding us back?
There have been ongoing conversations about the sustainability and the future
of our church.
And sometimes these conversations can cause some doubt…. It’s tough to praise when we have doubts!
Hosanna to Praise! Hosanna to Save!4
The harvest is plenty – the workers are few…there are enough workers here in our midst, for the mission field that is our community, if we trust in the Lord!
(Proverbs 3:5-6)
Whatever it is, would you be willing to lay it down?
Our Vision and Our Mission
“TO SHARE CHRIST’S LOVE WITHIN OUR COMMUNITY, GIVING HOPE AND
ENCOURAGEMENT TO PEOPLE ON LIFE’S JOURNEY.”
To fulfil our Vision and Mission Praise and Honour Our God,
We must be willing to lay down:
• Our prideful nature
• Our fears
• Our doubts
We must be willing to lay down ALL that gets in the way of giving ALL Praise and
Glory to God because JESUS LAID IT ALL DOWN for US on the CROSS!
“…For God so loved the world, that He sent his one and only Son, that
whoever believes in him shall not perish – but have eternal life…” (John 3:16)
Hosanna to Praise! Hosanna to Save!
Hosanna in the Highest! To God Be the Glory, Amen!
Happy Easter!
Much Love and Blessings, Malcolm