Palm Sunday

True Christian Worship Is Treasuring Of God Above All Things

Charles Homer
Apr 10, 2022    41m
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Have you ever struggled to express your adoration of God through worship? The crowd's reaction to the triumphal entry of Jesus on Palm Sunday is a beautiful example of true Christian worship in action. Will we let this example inspire us to show our love of Jesus through our worship? Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

Transcription
messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

04-10-2022 Venture
Charles Homer: [00:00:00] Good morning. My name is Charles, I'm the high school pastor here at Venture. I'm looking forward to speaking with you guys this morning.

Charles Homer: [00:00:07] If you have your Bible, go ahead and open it up to Luke chapter 19. Luke chapter 19. If you're using that Bible in front of you, I believe it's page 1044. We're going to be reading about the triumphal entry as we come into the Easter week, it's the triumphal entry, as Jesus marches into Jerusalem, that kicks off the Passion Week. And as we come into Easter, I hope that this church is eager to celebrate what Jesus has done for us.

Charles Homer: [00:00:38] And this morning, as we look at worship as one aspect of our response to Jesus, that man, our hearts would be lifted up, that would be called to join in that chorus that has been sung for the last 2000 years. In Luke chapter 19, we're going to pick up in verse number 28. Here's what Luke says, "And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem 41And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes."

Charles Homer: [00:02:44] This morning I want to talk about worship. If you look at the definition of the word worship, it's the expression of reverence or adoration. John Piper defines worship this way, "True worship, Christian worship, is a valuing or treasuring of God, above all things. As we talk about worship this morning, we're going to spend a little bit of time talking about music. And I know musical worship isn't all of worship, man, worship is so much bigger than just the songs that we sing on Sunday, or the tunes that we listen to on Spotify. But musical worship, I think, has a way of diagnosing the heart. How we enter into musical worship, I think in a very real sense, communicates, man, what is happening inside of here. And so as we look at worship, I'm going to be primarily talking about music, but out of it I want us to see what our life is responding to when it comes to worship.

Charles Homer: [00:03:44] Palm Sunday is a perfect Sunday to talk about worship. As Jesus was entering in to Jerusalem, the crowds are singing Hosanna, and it was almost like the crowd was anticipating something fantastic happening. In Jericho, on his way to Jerusalem, he had healed Bartimaeus and his friend, they were blind, but as they called out to Jesus, Jesus healed their blindness. It was in Jericho that Zacchaeus came to Jesus, and Zacchaeus was radically converted, somebody who was so far away from God. But as He came close to Jesus, his life was totally changed. From Jericho, they had stopped in and visited Lazarus, Lazarus was dead and now he's alive, and he was sitting down, he hosted Jesus for a dinner. And is with this march of just miracles that Jesus steps into Jerusalem, and as the crowds gather around him, they're singing Hosanna. Blessed is the one who sits on the throne of David, Hosanna in the highest.

Charles Homer: [00:04:49] But I have to say, there was a problem with their worship. And here's the reason why I say that there was a problem, because five days later, I would imagine that the same people that were crying, Hosanna, God, come and save us are the people who are chanting, crucify him, crucify him. There's an inconsistency in this crowd, there's this fickleness where one day they're saying, come and save us. On the very next week, they're saying, crucify him. I think if we're honest, we'd admit that there's an inconsistency in our lives when it comes to worship.

Charles Homer: [00:05:30] I was probably in the sixth grade when I first, like, experienced genuine worship. I had grown up in a church that was pretty reserved as far as musical worship goes, we sang hymns. And there's so much good theology in hymns, but just as a kid, the good theology and the organ and the piano never really touched my heart. And it was in sixth grade that I went away to a camp, and for the first time it was electric guitars, it was drums, it was the keyboard. And I was thinking like, Man, I don't know if this is appropriate, but there was something that happened in that moment that God grabbed a hold of my heart. I still remember the song that they were singing, it was The Jesus Lamb of God, Worthy is Your Name. And that was the song that was just on repeat, you know, every morning session, every evening session, it was that song over and over. And in that moment, I remember God, just like sparking something in my heart, that my heart came alive and there was a genuine response to God. God, I love you, I adore you, that you would be a God that would suffer like a lamb and die for me, there's something beautiful in that.

Charles Homer: [00:06:40] Now, what I would love to say, is that from the time that that moment happened in sixth grade, up until now, once my heart came alive, man, there was no going back, I wasn't going to be stopped. But that's just not how my life has worked out, there's been an inconsistent, an up and down relationship with worship that I've had in my life. And honestly, as we are inconsistent in worship, it's actually kind of a big deal. N.T. Wright says, "That the failure to worship is the core issue for humanity." That we were created to glorify God, and as we look at him and receive His glory, we reflect that goodness out into the world around us. But idolatry has crept in, and instead of looking at God as the good creator that we're supposed to be mirroring into our world, we put idols in his place, and those idols have infected our heart. Worship is a big deal, that's why, in the Westminster shorter catechism it starts out with a question, what is the chief end of man? And they wrote, the chief end of man is to glorify God. Worship, we were created to worship God, that's why we exist, and to enjoy Him forever.

Charles Homer: [00:07:58] We were made to worship, but just like the crowd in Jesus's day, our hearts are fickle. John Calvin says, "That the human heart is an idol making factory, that we can't help ourselves but be bent away from worshiping the one true God to worship idols." Jesus described inconsistent worship when he called out the church in Ephesus. In addressing the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2, he says, "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned your first love." He said, there's a problem here, you guys used to be genuine in your worship, there used to be a passion in your heart for me, but you've left it. And I'm not sure that it's a world-ending issue for those of us who have slightly ups and downs in our hearts for God, I think that's partially natural, but I think in that there is a danger.

Charles Homer: [00:08:59] And I know as a high school pastor, that I've seen so many students who have a genuine faith, who love the Lord, who at one moment were passionately following Jesus, but then they just got busy, they stepped out of church for a little bit. You know, we're really focusing on our AP classes, and then as they stepped away a little bit, something just grew in their heart, a little bit of distance, a little bit of callousness, a little bit of coldness. And from that seemingly insignificant thing, man, they came to a place where they just, man, they wouldn't consider themselves a Christian. They've abandoned their faith, and that seemingly insignificant, man, maybe this is just a little downward dip has become a total loss of faith.

Charles Homer: [00:09:40] And I think for many parents, many adults in this room, where it might not be the fact that we've totally abandoned our faith, but it's just gotten rout, we're just going through the motions. We're here because we know it's good for our kids, we're here because that's just what you do on Sunday morning, but there's no passion in it, there's no energy, and in that, our worship is inconsistent, that we've lost that consistency and that passion for Jesus.

Charles Homer: [00:10:14] Bob Kauflin literally wrote the book on worship ministry, and he talked about how this is true not only for church members but definitely for church staff as well. He said after ten years of leading worship at high levels, he came to the place where he was just totally dry. He described it as a nervous breakdown, where no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get back to the place where he felt the presence of God anymore. He was experiencing what Jesus had said to the church in Ephesus, that he had just unintentionally left his first love. But here's what I love about Bob Kauflin, he didn't stay there, he didn't stay in that place where everything was dry, man, he dealt with it. Right after Jesus had talked to the church in Ephesus, and said that they'd left their first love, he gives them a command. He says, "Therefore, keep in mind how far you have fallen. Repent and perform the deeds you did at first. " He dealt with the inconsistency in his worship.

Charles Homer: [00:11:16] Regardless of where you are in your faith journey, whether this is your first Sunday, or this is like the 100th year that you've been part of Venture, here. I hope that this Sunday, as we look at this story, that it would move our hearts to consistent and passionate worship.

Charles Homer: [00:11:36] To frame our time together, I'm going to ask us three questions. If you're taking notes, feel free to write these down. If you're not taking notes, don't worry about it, it's going to be simple enough where you can follow along.

Charles Homer: [00:11:46] But here's the first question I have for us, who do we worship? Who do we worship? And here's the answer, yes, Jesus is the right answer, we worship Jesus, the Humble King. In verse 37, it tells us that they were on the way to Jerusalem at the Mount of Olives, and they were finally there. It had been a while getting to Jerusalem, and anybody who's done any hiking or backpacking knows the exhilaration where it's like, oh, I'm finally at my destination. The Jews would have been traveling for a long time to get to Jerusalem, and at this time there was just excitement in that city. They're about to celebrate Passover, Passover was the time when they celebrated the freedom that the Israelites received from slavery in Egypt. And they were hoping maybe, just maybe, this would be the year that we get freedom again. They weren't looking for freedom from Egypt this time, they were specifically looking for freedom from Rome. Rome had them under their thumb, it was Roman guards that patrolled the city, it was Roman taxes that they were paying into. And it was this desire for freedom, they were thinking maybe this year somebody from the line of David would assume the kingship again, and there will be a king that brings freedom to Israel.

Charles Homer: [00:13:13] Add to the fact that Jerusalem, as a city, would have been bursting at the seams. When I taught about Jesus cleansing the temple, which happens right after this, I mentioned Josephus. Josephus was a Jewish person who was writing for Rome, a history of the Jewish people. And he accounts that at one Passover near this time, you could estimate that there were 2.5 million people in the city of Jerusalem. Granted, that number seems a little bit extravagant, even for somebody who's taking a little bit of liberty with their counting. But either way, you read it, this city is just bursting at the seams with people, there are people everywhere. It's probably hard for us to understand the excitement that was in the air, the expectation of something big about to happen. Maybe this would be the year that prophecies would be fulfilled, and the Messiah would be put on the throne of David.

Charles Homer: [00:14:06] And it's in that excitement that the crowd begins to chant, Hosanna, to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in Hebrew literally means, save us. All of these songs, and it would have been a song, are taken from Psalm 118. Psalm 118 is the most quoted Psalm in the New Testament, and this was the song that they were singing as Jesus comes down the Mount of Olives, crossed the brook of Kidron, and came up into Jerusalem, the crowds were chanting.

Charles Homer: [00:14:41] But like I said before, in the middle of the praise, they had to have missed something, right? And here's what I think that they missed, I think what they missed was the donkey. Stick with me for a little bit. Initially, I was like you, as I read this story, honestly, the donkey just looks like a sideline prop, right? It's something that Jesus included, or the gospel writers included, just to bring a little bit of life into the story. But as you read the gospel accounts, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all of them, in detail, talk to us about this donkey.

Charles Homer: [00:15:28] Here in Luke, it tells us specifically that this colt, this foal, excuse me, is a donkey that has never been ridden on before. And each of them goes into detail about the disciples having to get sent into the city, and as they go into the city, they're to untie this donkey, and it's a young colt, this baby. And as they untie them, if somebody says, like, hey, why are you untying this? You're just going to say, the Lord has need of them. And as they come into the city, that's exactly what happened, someone says like, hey, why are you untying my donkey? And they just say, hey, the Lord has need of them, and they let the donkey go.

Charles Homer: [00:16:02] And as they bring the donkey to Jesus, they put their coats on him and Jesus gets on to this donkey. The disciples had followed Jesus' commands to the T, but we have to ask ourselves, why was it a donkey? I think the donkey is Jesus' way of letting us know He is a King, this is his triumphal entry, but he is not going to be a king like any other king, he is going to do things differently. And honestly, he's kind of poking fun, he's making a satire of triumphal entries as a whole. In that day, the triumphal entry was something that kings would do, either as they are coming into their capital to receive their throne, or else after a battle where they were victorious, they would come in and there would be a parade, there would be palm branches waving. But always, as this king was coming in to receive his throne or to celebrate a victory, he was sitting on a majestic horse or sitting in a fancy chariot. And the horse and the chariot. there were symbols of power. the donkey is a symbol of peace. Jesus comes in lowly, humble riding on a donkey to show that Jesus is going to be a king, unlike any king. By choosing a donkey, Jesus is showing us that God often doesn't do what we want or what we expect.

Charles Homer: [00:17:39] Remember, we were talking this morning about just that tendency in our hearts to grow cold, to get distant from God, to lose that first love that we had. And honestly, I think a lot of times the reason that our hearts grow cold, that we get distant, is because God doesn't meet our expectations. That what we want God to do, God doesn't do, and in that space, in that gap, in that tension, it can be so frustrating for our hearts. God, I have this health issue, I can't keep living like this, I can't keep dealing with this consistent pain. I know that you're the Great Physician, God, come through and do something for me, and he doesn't. And in that gap, there's a frustration, there's a tension, there's something in our heart that says, well, maybe God's not real or he doesn't care. Or the wayward child, the child who's walking away from the Lord, wants nothing to do with his faith, wants nothing to do with her walk with the Lord. And in that you're saying, God, I've read the prodigal son, like I know that it's your heart for this lost child to come home. When is my kid going to come to his senses and come back? When is this going to happen? I know that you could do this work in his heart, but you have remained silent. And in that space, there's a tension. Or people are saying, God, I'm lonely. The reason that I'm in this church is because I needed to be surrounded by a godly community, I need good friends, I need somebody to help me go through life so it's not just this lonely experience of wake up, go to work, come back, watch Netflix and go to bed. God, I need community. As hard as we try, it's like, ah, I can't find my people. Or the tragic loss of a loved one. God, you could have saved them, but God doesn't. Or maybe in more subtle ways, where it's, God, I want an experience with you. I want you to set my heart on fire again, and I know that you can, but he doesn't. And in that gap of our expectations, there is a danger that we fall away from God, that our hearts grow disillusioned, grow cold, that we keep taking steps back, and we come to the point where we abandon our faith altogether.

Charles Homer: [00:20:12] I know for me, I get frustrated, maybe not frustrated, just disillusioned with God because I want God to show up, I want God to do something great. I want God to blow the roof off the high school ministry. I want God to do something amazing in this church. I want God to bring a right revival to America. And I think that there are many people in this auditorium who are like, yes, God, come through. But for whatever reason, he seems silent. It's a mystery that honestly, I don't understand.

Charles Homer: [00:20:50] I take a little bit of instruction from the story of Elijah. Elijah had just had the contest with the prophets of Bael up on Mount Carmel, and God had come through in a powerful way. But after that, Elijah goes into a downward spiral. Jezebel threatens his life, and he goes on the run. He runs away into the wilderness, and he falls down under a tree, and he says, God, take my life now. Am I any better than my ancestors, just let me die? He's in a dark place, he's frustrated with God because he's alone. He says I'm the only one that's standing for you, God, where are you? Even after seeing God do such a miraculous miracle, there's this hunger in his heart that is like, God, you're still, even after I've seen what I've seen, you're still not coming through with my expectations. Where's everybody else that's supposed to be doing this with me? Where are all of the other faithful Israelites? God comes in and meets with them and he says, hey, sleep for a little bit, you need a little buddy, take some food. And then he repeats that he says, eat some more, sleep some more. And then after the physical issues are taken care of, he says, all right, Elijah, up, you got to walk to walk. And he takes them over to Horeb, the mountain of God.

Charles Homer: [00:22:10] And as Elijah walks up to the mountain of God, God meets with him there and it says, initially, there's a wind when God comes, the wind is tearing through the rocks, is breaking the rocks apart before the Lord. But then here's what the author says, the Lord is not in the wind. He says after the wind, there was an earthquake, the ground began to shake rocks and more rocks begin to fall. And then it says, the Lord was not in the earthquake. And then a fire comes through, but the Lord is not in the fire. And then it says this, it says that there was a still, small voice that came to Elijah. Man, that's so frustrating, God, I want the wind, I want the earthquake, I want the fire, and I want you to be in those things. And sometimes God comes through in those ways, but I think his primary way of working, is that still, small voice. A subtle way of getting our attention, not violating our freedom, desiring us to come to him willingly, to respond with open hands and open heart, saying, God, like I'm going to listen to you, even though it's not overwhelming.

Charles Homer: [00:23:34] What I love about the story here in the triumphal entry is that even though I think most people missed it there in that crowd, as the gospel writers recorded this story, there's actually a miracle that's happening. If you're taking notes, that's the second point, there's a miracle in this story. Jesus is riding on a donkey, a lowly humble creature with little to no kingly qualities, but not just any donkey, it's a donkey that's never been ridden before. And again, each of the gospel writers include this detail, that this is an untrained donkey. Donkeys and mules are different, and just to betray my ignorance, I've never been around donkeys very much. I grew up in Hong Kong, it's a big city, I don't know that there are any donkeys in Hong Kong. And even though I kind of like fancy myself as like a little bit of a farmer now, no donkeys in my house, I live in San Jose, that's not going to happen.

Charles Homer: [00:24:34] But what I have done is extensive research on what it takes to break a donkey. In order to train a donkey, it's an extensive process, donkeys specifically are timid and stubborn and animals. That as an animal, if you want this donkey to be useful for something, there is extensive training that has to take place in order for it to carry a load, and very much more training if it's going to be carrying a person. If you just decide one day, hey, today's the day donkey, I'm going to hop on, and it's go time, prepare to get thrown off and then kicked in the face. Specifically, here in Luke, it tells us that this was a donkey that had never been ridden on, and Jesus in this, is performing a miracle. He's showing like, hey, even if you don't see it, I'm doing something special here, I'm doing something that exercises my power, I'm showing you guys that there is an intentionality that I am working here. I'm showing my humility, but don't miss it, I'm also showing you my power in this situation.

Charles Homer: [00:25:51] And honestly, if Jesus just rode a donkey, maybe we could just brush it off and say, like, hey, this was just something insignificant. But what happens with the donkey is the precursor to what's happening in five days. In five days, Jesus would be hung on a cross, there would be a sign placed above his head that said The King of the Jews. But instead of a golden crown, instead of a reception that a king deserves, he would be sentenced to death, it would be a crown of thorns, and Jesus would be telling us that He is going to be a king that is unlike any kings. But in that humility, and in that suffering, there's a miracle that's happening.

Charles Homer: [00:26:32] In Isaiah, it says, "He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." His death leads to our life, his suffering leads to our salvation, and the stripes that are on his back bring us healing. And I wonder if sometimes in that gap of our expectations when we say, God, you're not coming through the way that I want you to come through, we're missing a miracle in the mundane. That God is saying, you're right, I'm not doing exactly what you want me to do. But maybe, just maybe, God is doing the exact thing that we need him to do. The Jewish people wanted him to overthrow Rome, they wanted to be done with this oppression. But Jesus comes in and says, yes, I know that's what you want, but what you need is healing in the heart, what you need is to deal with the bigger enemy of sin and death, and so I'm not going to give you what you want, I'm going to give you what you need. And so as we look at this donkey, we look at a Savior, humble, who doesn't necessarily give us what we want, but he gives us what we need.

Charles Homer: [00:28:04] This brings us to our second question, well, then, how do we worship? If you're taking notes, the three things that you can write down there are sacrificially, and then I guess I'll give you the rest later, I won't betray the rest of my sermon. The sacrificial worship that the Jews did well, is something that I think we can learn from this morning. It's true, they missed the most important part, that our God is a humble God giving us what we need, not what we want. But there are some things that they do well, in this passage it tells us that as they bring the donkey to Jesus, they take off their coats, they put them on the donkey, and they put Jesus on that. I don't know about you, but I'm kind of particular about my clothes. My kids love, for some reason, they love grabbing onto the necks of my shirts, right? And it's just like, whether we're wrestling in bed or something, or like one of the girls are trying to ride me like a horse or something, they always grab on to my shirts and they're pulling on my shirt. I'm like, hey, that's my shirt, you can't just ruin my shirt like that, and maybe that's just a me thing. But if I were here and I'm watching Jesus, he's on a donkey, there's already a couple of coats on the donkey, he's comfortable, and it's a donkey, do we really need coats on the ground to provide a red-carpet entrance into the city? Like, I think the donkeys’ hoofs on the dirt are just fine, I'm going to leave my cloak on just the way that it is right now, I'm not going to worship in this way.

Charles Homer: [00:29:48] I think a lot of times for worship, and let's talk specifically about musical worship. When I come into a time for musical worship, you know what, it sometimes feels annoying, it feels unnecessary, it feels a little bit extravagant. Just like the disciples in the first century, laying down their cloaks on the donkey, and then laying their cloaks on the ground, man, that just seems annoying, that almost seems unnecessary, that seems extravagant. But when we're in the presence of a king, we do the annoying, we do the unnecessary, we do the extravagant because it's not about us, it's about the king that's coming into a city, it's our opportunity to express just how great he is.

Charles Homer: [00:30:42] Specifically, with musical worship, I wonder sometimes like, is it really necessary for us to spend 20 minutes looking up at screens, singing karaoke here at church? And again, it seems annoying at times, don't tell [inaudible] I said that, it seems extravagant, it seems unnecessary. Sacrificial worship calls us to all those things, not because that might be the natural desire of our heart, but because we are in the presence of the king.

Charles Homer: [00:31:15] Sacrificial Worship, I also think not only just of musical worship, but also the chance to serve. Inside my sermon notes, you guys each got one of these cards to volunteer at Easter. One of the ways that we show that we are willing to sacrifice is not only by the giving of our affections in worship but also by the giving out of our time, whether it's serving at Venture unleashed to go and help beautify the Boys and Girls Club, or volunteering here at Venture, we still have 100 spaces that need to be filled for Easter Sunday, in one week. We come and say, God, I'm going to worship you sacrificially.

Charles Homer: [00:31:57] I love this story; I love the story that involves King David in Second Samuel. There's a plague that's going through the nation of Israel, and God stops the plague, and in order to celebrate this crisis that's been averted, David goes to the spot where the plague has stopped, and he goes to offer an offering to God at that place. And as he comes to the person who owns that plot of ground, he says, hey, I'm going to build an altar here, we're going to bring sacrifices, we are going to celebrate that God has stopped this judgment that He's brought on us. And the landowner comes to him and says, perfect, my heart's with you, let me give you the land, let me give you the animals, let me give you whatever you need in order to celebrate this. And here's what David says in Second Samuel, "The King replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” David just says nope, for my worship for God, it's going to cost me something. I will not worship to my God in a way that costs me nothing. They worshiped sacrificially.

Charles Homer: [00:33:25] Secondly, they worshiped vocally. They worshiped vocally, they lifted up their voices and they sang Hosanna in the highest. A preacher that I listen to frequently is Andy Stanley, he pastors out on the East Coast in Atlanta, and he has this line in a sermon for gratitude. He says, "Unexpressed gratitude is worthless." And honestly, for whatever reason, that line is just stuck with me. I'm the type of person just more naturally reserved, especially in expressing my emotions. And so a lot of times I feel gratitude in my heart, I'm thankful for all the things that God has given me, but a lot of times that feeling in my heart, that's the stop, that's where it ends. And Andy Stanley came out and he just said the obvious, he said, hey, if you feel gratitude, but you don't express gratitude, unexpressed gratitude is worthless. And I wonder how many of us sitting in this room would say, I feel worship, God, I want to give you adoration, I just don't want to express it. I wonder if the people in the first century would be like, hey, hey, if you feel it, you've got to say it, you've got to join in with the chorus, you've got to lift up your voice, you've got to make a joyful noise to the Lord. He doesn't have to say a joyful melody, just make a noise, celebrate what God has done because unexpressed gratitude is worthless.

Charles Homer: [00:34:53] In Psalm 68, he says, "Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord." And notice that it doesn't say, think good thoughts to God. Think good thoughts about praising his name. Think good thoughts about him who rides on the clouds? No, it says to sing to God, sing praises to his names, extoll him with your voice the Him who rides on the clouds, rejoice before him. We praise God vocally.

Charles Homer: [00:35:27] Lastly, we worship defiantly. I kind of like this, maybe it's just a little bit of a punk that still resides in me, as the Jewish people are gathering around waving palm branches, singing Hosanna, save us, as a King is marching into Jerusalem. You better have believed that the Roman guard was watching. Who is this King of the Jews? Who is this person that's claiming Caesar's authority? And this wasn't something that was safe and secure, this was something that took a little bit of gumption, took a little bit of protest and they did it defiantly saying, even if this costs me something, I am going to waive this Palm Branch, I am going to celebrate that there is a new King coming into Jerusalem, I am going to celebrate defiantly. And I think in our culture, especially for middle school and high school students, just the water that we swim in our world today is antagonistic at best, to people who take their faith seriously. And in that antagonism, it takes a little bit of defiance to say, like, that's all right, regardless of how people are going to perceive me, I'm going to worship God defiantly.

Charles Homer: [00:36:54] The last question that I want us to look at this morning, will we worship? Will we worship? The Pharisees come to Jesus, and they say to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!” 40“I tell you,” He answered, “if they remain silent, the very stones will cry out.” In every crowd, there's going to be somebody who says, hey, don't do that, don't make a fool of yourself, don't worship this imaginary person. And the Pharisees were telling Jesus, hey, quiet down your disciples. And Jesus goes on the far side of responding to the Pharisees, he says, Guys, if my disciples weren't crying out, the very rocks would respond in worship. This moment calls for a celebration, for praises to God in the highest. If nobody else is going to do it, creation itself, that is groaning for the redemption, is going to speak out.

Charles Homer: [00:38:04] And it's like Luke is drawing this distinction. On one hand, there are the Pharisees who are saying, hey, shut up. On the other hand, there's Jesus that is saying, this is the most natural thing, even creation knows that in this moment it is a time to worship. And Luke ends this passage with a question for us. What are we going to do? Will we worship? Will we be the people who see our humble King riding into Jerusalem to give his life for us so that we can be redeemed, so that we can be restored back to God, not necessarily what we want, but the deepest need of our humanity, of being restored back in right relationship with God? Will we respond in worship, consistent and passionate worship?

Charles Homer: [00:39:05] In a little bit, we're going to sing one last song, and at the end of the song, there's this line. It says, "When you return in glory with all of the angels and the saints, my heart will still be singing, and my song will still be the same." When Jesus comes back, and the glory of the saints and the angels, will our hearts still be singing? Will there be a consistent and a passionate worship in our lives? I pray that there will be.

Charles Homer: [00:39:40] Pray with me again. God, thank you. Thank you, yes, Lord, for the freedoms that we have in this room, that we can crank the music up, we can lift our voices high, that we're sitting in air conditioning, that we have comfy chairs, LORD, and just all of the good things that you've given to us. But, Lord, so much more, thank you that you've given us you, that you save us, that by your cross we have restoration to God again.

Charles Homer: [00:40:22] God, if there's anyone in this room who is far from you, who doesn't know you, Lord, would this morning be the morning that they come and they put their faith in you? That they trust in you, in your death and resurrection as the only means to be restored back to God, and restored back to our humanity, to worship the way that we were designed to. Amen.

Charles Homer: [00:40:53] Would you stand up, guys? And as we close our service, would we be the type of people who sing, who celebrate what God has done for us? Let's worship together.



Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032
408.997.4600