“He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day.”
- 1-Minute Devotional thought:
(Matthew 21:5 ESV)  “Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”
Yesterday was “Palm Sunday,” from the Biblical narrative found in all four Gospels wherein Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey and the crowds sang “Hosanna” to Him in recognition of His posturing Himself in Kingly symbolism.
“The Triumphal Entry” is what scholars and Bible footnotes call this event, and for good reason as the crowds cried out in approval of Jesus as their King. Of course, these same people cried out “Crucify Him!” against Jesus — only days later! Was this really a Triumphal Entry? Triumph over what?
Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey does communicate kingship (see 1 Kings 1, where David puts his son Solomon on a donkey to proclaim him the new king), but what type of kingship does it convey? In ancient world context where kings rode in on horses — glory and power and dominion — the fact that Jesus came in on a donkey (as fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9) communicates: “I am a king coming to you to broker peace. To offer amnesty.”
In the spirit of Philippians 2, Jesus humbled Himself throughout His entire life and ministry in order to bring redemption to mankind. He could have ridden into Jerusalem on any animal, but He chose the lowly donkey to communicate His lowly and meek demeanor among us — in order that we would believe His offer of peace to mankind.
And the offer of peace is for Jew and Gentile alike — just as the next verse in the Zechariah prophecy would say: “He shall speak peace to the nations” (Zechariah 9:10). Or, as Paul would write: “For He Himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14).
At the end of time, Christ will come and conquer over all His enemies. On that day, He will ride on a white horse. That will be a Triumphal Procession. We who live between the donkey-riding King and the white-horse-riding King must be sure to submit our entirety to this King.
- As citizens of the City of Man: Pray for the Supreme Court of the United States this week as the justices make some very monumental and historic decisions. Same-sex marriage is on the docket.
- Pray for your local pro-life ministries. Seek out local adoption and foster care agencies and ask them how you can help meet their ongoing needs. In comparison to pro-abortion groups, those who promote the sanctity of human life are greatly underfunded.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place on the campus of Georgia Tech – led by Aaron Jeffrey:
Aaron is a graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pa. Upon graduation, Aaron and his wife, Amy, started the ministry of RUF at the University of Iowa. They moved to Atlanta, Ga., in 2006 to start the ministry of RUF at Georgia Tech. Aaron and Amy married in 1999 and have two little girls: Payton, born in 2003, and Sarah, born in 2004.
- Using the new 2013 “watchlist” produced by Open Doors, we pray for the persecuted Christians of a different country each week.
Teachers/parents, consider this a great way to introduce geography into the weekly lessons. Show students where the nation is, then pray for Christians in that place.
This week we pray for the Christians of Eritrea, which ranks No. 10 on the watchlist:
All evangelical churches were closed in 2002 following a government ban on religious groups other than Orthodox, Catholic, Lutheran and Islam. The government also persecutes non-traditional Christians, but members of the Orthodox Church also report on evangelical believers, and Muslim extremists are ready to take over where the government leaves off. When Christians are discovered they are arrested and held in shipping containers in military camps. At least 105 Christians were arrested in 2012, and 31 Christians were reported to have died in prison.
Pray: For God’s strength for Christians imprisoned in containers, especially those arrested in 2012, for spouses and families who are forced to live as refugees in different countries, and for worldwide awareness of the plight of Eritrean Christians.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the District of Columbia. Pray for the churches who serve the regular citizens as well as providing worship for the government workers who come and go through the halls of power in the city. Pray that the kingdoms of this world would not blind the citizens of D.C. to the greater and eternal glory of the Kingdom of Christ.
- In 2013, we will pray together by name for Christians in 50 nations, Christians in all 50 states and all the presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the emerging new Reformed body, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbytreians. You are encouraged to add specific pastors, lay leaders, congregations, missionaries, new church developments and other ministries to the list by posting a comment to the blog. (Please do not publicly post the names of missionaries serving in contexts where exposing their identity would cause them harm or bring harm to those they serve in Christ’s name.) Let us kneel before the Father and ask His will be done.
- Prayers for the PCUSA: Pray for the presbyteries of the Synod of Southern California and Hawaii: Hanmi, Los Ranchos, The Pacific, Riverside, San Diego, San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Barbara.
Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): the Mid-Atlantic (Robert Buchanan, stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Sususquehanna Valley Presbytery.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.