“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord”
What does that mean? … No idea… Of course not… You came to church in a car right… anyone come to church in a name?…. Need a story to explain it:
A long time ago, when religion began… which was probably even before your mum and dad were born… people used to believe in lots of gods, ones that controlled the weather, others that made the plants grow, others that made the sun shine.
Q: What do you think they did when the plants didn’t grow?… They thought the God’s must be angry. So they kept themselves very busy offering gifts to God to keep God happy. Often the gift they gave God would be a dead animal (they’d kill it and give it to the gods – yuk). The name for this kind of religion is ‘pagan’ – it doesn’t mean ‘bad’ it’s just the name for a kind of religion. The kind of religion where you give gifts to the gods to keep them happy.
However, when the true God, who created everything, wanted to communicate and started to communicate with human beings something different happened. The people God started to communicate with stopped giving gifts to make God happy and started to believe that the world was God’s gift of love to them. They started to realize that the god’s weren’t angry. So they changed their way of doing religion. Here’s what they did.
Once a year the priest got on his dress up clothes. And went into the Holy Place (like God’s play house) he killed an animal, like other pagan religions did, but instead of giving it as a gift to God (like burning it so the smoke would go up into the sky) he put God’s name on his forehead (he might have looked a bit like this – person dressed up) and he pretended to be God (he did a little skit – called ‘atonement’) and he took the blood from the goat or sheep and sprinkled it on the people (messing up their clothes – you wouldn’t think that religion would catch on?). What do you think that might mean?
God is giving the world to you as a gift of love. Blood is a symbol of life. God is giving life. God is not angry.
And you know what when he did that all the people used to sing a song or psalm which is in our bible. And it’s the same one we just read together before. And it’s the same song they sang when Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey. “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord” – see with the name on his forehead. We might say blessed is the one who shows us what God is like.
When Jesus comes to give his own life at Easter time we too can sing – “Blessed is the one who shows us what God is like”