Devotional for April 5: Coats
PRELUDE: Today, Lent in Plain Sight: A Devotion through ten objects, invites us to look at Luke 19:29–40. The object for this week is a cloak. The title of the meditation is “Coats on the Road”. If you have the book, read the meditation.
OPENING SENTENCES Kimberly Bracken Long. Feasting on the Word Worship Companion: Liturgies for Year A, Volume 1: Advent through Pentecost (Kindle Locations 2783-2785). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition
Awake to the day of triumph for our Savior! Give thanks for this day that leads to the cross! Come with your branches, hosannas, and songs! Fill the air with welcome to the Lord! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
PROCLAMATION OF THE ENTRANCE INTO JERUSALEM: If you can, watch the following video based on the passage: Gospel of Luke Ch. 19-23 by BibleProject.
HYMN: Listen to “Filled with Excitement" GtG 199
CONFESSION: Rev. Arelis Cardona
Prophet, who is on his way to Jerusalem, take into account our joy when we see you go through and forgive our inability to be fully faithful. We do not understand or deserve your determination to go back to a place where those that are God’s envoys will die. Allow us to understand your love and obedience. Purify us and we will be clean. In Christ’s name. Amen.
PARDON AND PEACE
We thank you Lord, because you hear us and because you are our salvation! Thank you because you are on our side! In gratitude for your infinite love, we want to share this good news with the world: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. We can live in joy and peace!
(Take time to think about one thing during the week that has given you peace. It can be the sound of birds chirping, flowers coming out, or hearing from someone dear.)
SCRIPTURE: Luke 19:29–40 (NRSV)
29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” 39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
REFLECTION: (Rev. Candasu Vernon-Cubbage)
Our Lenten Devotional written by Jill J. Duffield begins today’s devotion with these words: “The disciples were sent to fetch a colt for Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.” A couple of them went and found the colt, which is a young horse, and brought him back to where Jesus and other disciples were waiting just outside of the city. The disciples were the first who were asked to give up their coats for Jesus. They took off their outer cloaks or coats and put them on the colt’s back for Jesus to sit on. Then he rode into Jerusalem and the crowds began to gather and sing Hosannas, and wave palms, and to take off their own cloaks or coats and put them on the ground for King Jesus to ride upon.
Hearing that the disciples put their cloaks on the colt’s back for Jesus to ride upon makes sense to me. It’s at least a little bit more comfortable for the horse and the rider than just riding bareback.
However, I always wondered why people would put their cloaks on the ground. It seems like a strange detail to include in the story.
I have a theory: It’s not really about the cloaks on the colt's back making it easier to ride, or that the cloaks on the road made it easier for the colt to walk. It’s more about the willingness of the disciples and the crowd to give up something personal and valuable to them for the entrance of the King.
When I think about cloaks or coats, I think about at least three things.
Comfort- A coat warms you when you are cold. The weight of the coat can make you feel safer (like a thunder shirt or weighted blanket). A cloak, which is a garment more like a cape than a jacket, can be used as a blanket in winter.
Protection- a coat acts as an outer layer, shield, something that is between you and the rest of the world making you less vulnerable to the weather and less vulnerable to being hit. A cloak can be used as a tent to keep wind or sun off your skin.
Status- A coat, by the quality of the fabric out of which it is made or how in style it currently is, can indicate how much money we have, how important we are, or how much authority we have.
Perhaps the honor given to King Jesus was not that he couldn’t feel the colt’s bony back while riding it, or that the colt wouldn’t have to let its hooves touch the road. Perhaps the honor was to sacrifice something personal for the King, something that represented their own comfort, or protection, or status, and that they sacrificed in the wake of Jesus’ entry into the Holy City.
Lately, we’ve been asked, sometimes demanded, to give up our freedom of movement, close physical proximity to other human beings, including some of our own family members. We’ve been asked to do this to keep them, to keep us, and to keep others healthy.
So this morning I’m wondering what we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of Jesus? What comfort, protection, or status are we willing to let go of, even temporarily, in order for Jesus to make a triumphal entry?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION (Duffield, Jill. Lent in Plain Sight (Kindle Locations 1086-1090). Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kindle Edition)
What are you holding back from Jesus? From others? Why are you holding it in reserve?
Where else in Luke’s Gospel do you find the word “cloak” or “coat”? How do these passages inform your understanding of this Palm Sunday reading?
When have you been moved to throw your coat on the road? In other words, when have you given away something with abandon, without calculating the cost or worrying about the consequences? What happened?
HYMN: Listen to What the Lord Has Done for Me (Hosanna)
PRAYER OF INTERCESSION: Use Magdalena García’s “Tú entraste en la ciudad / You Entered the City”, as a prayer.
Go in peace, assured of God’s presence with you, with the mind of Christ Jesus as your path and guide, and the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit.