Palm Sunday

The first person to show up for the prayer meeting was Mahindra.  He said Sanja, Chanchal, Jagdish and Ram Singh had decided not to come, but he came anyway.  Mr. Chauhan, Akanksha, Farah, Rakhi and another little girl joined us a little later.  Mahima, Vinod (middle), Golu and Vinod (big) also came.  Dharna brought a friend Pinky.  Roma Bhabhi, Vipul Bhaiya, Indu Bhabhi, Promil Bhaiya, Suvneet, Sukrit and Glory also attended.  Mrs. Agarwal and Aashima joined us near the end of worship.  With Anu Didi and the kids also in attendance, we had a good turn out. 

I shared a message on greatness.  What is greatness?  Who do we think is great?  From the world’s perspective greatness is measured by someone’s accomplishments.  Someone who accumulates wealth is called great.  For example, the richest Indian in this world, Laxmi Mittal, is considered great.  Someone who attains fame is considered great.  For example, the famous writer, Rabindranath Tagore, is considered great.  Someone who has power is called great.  For example, one of the leaders of the BJP, Sonia Gandhi, is considered great.

In the ancient world the most highly honored person was the usually the king. The king had the strongest army, controlled vast riches and presided over a splendid court. People often saw the king as a god or, at least, as God’s representative on earth.  

But do you know what God says about greatness?

One day Jesus’ disciples were fighting over who would be the greatest in Heaven.     

Mathew 18:1-5:

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

In another place, Jesus explained to His disciples:

42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:42-45.

Jesus even washed the feet of His disciples.  Most great, holy men, have others wash their feet, but Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.  Then He said to them:

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

John 13:12-17.

So, to be great in God’s sight, we have to be humble in man’s sight.  We must follow Jesus’ example and serve others.  When you give to others, and serve them, without expectation of return, then you are Great in God’s sight.

Who’s sight do you want to be great in?   I am sure, if I asked many of you what your dream is, you would say that you want to be rich and famous.  You secret desire may be to be a famous sports personality, actor, artist, or activist.  You want people to recognize you and honor you.  It is normal. 

But the thing is, greatness is the worlds’ eyes is often temporary.  Someone who is famous and considered great today, if they make one mistake, everyone may turn against them.  Or, a few years down the road when they are gone and others have come to take their place, we forget them. 

Let’s take Jesus’ example.  We just read the story of Palm Sunday, Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  People were singing and rejoicing.  They were honoring Him as He entered.  But less than one week later, those same people were yelling, “Crucify Him!”  The same people who praised Him, killed Him.  

People change.  Their opinions change. 

But, God never changes.  The Bible says He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  People may leave you.  They may forget you.  But Jesus will never leave your nor forsake you.  So we should strive to be great in His eyes.

I recently read a quote from William Barclay that said:

"In any museum we will find quite ordinary things - clothes, a walking stick, a pen, pieces of furniture - which are only of value because they were possessed and used by some great person. It is the ownership which gives them worth.  It is so with the Christian.  The Christian may be a very ordinary person, but he acquires a new value and dignity and greatness because he belongs to God.  The greatness of the Christian lies in the fact that he is God's."    
What does it mean to belong to Jesus?  It means that we completely give our lives to Him.  We let Him have control.  We do what He wants, not what we want.  We obey His commands.    

In the end, on Palm Sunday, I encouraged the people to resolve to strive to be great in His sight, not in man’s sight. 


*** 

After the service was over, we began to pray for those with needs.  The young woman, Pinky, her father has left the family.  Please pray that the Lord will bring him back.  We prayed for Mrs. Agarwal.  She had cervical pain.  As we prayed, the pain completely left.  Praise God!  Then, Indu Bhabhi had fallen and bruised her hand and foot.  As we prayed, the pain disappeared.  She was amazed.  Her husband, Promil Bhaiya, had also fallen and hurt himself badly.  He had a swollen lip and face.  He couldn’t open his mouth due to the pain.  As we prayed, the pain completely left.  He began to smile and said it was a miracle.  Although he had come for prayer, I don’t think he expected that the Lord would actually answer his prayer in such a real way.  God is good…all the time.

In the middle of the day Golu and Vinod unexpectedly came for forty-five minutes of tuition.  I am so amazed that these kids come for tutoring of their own volition.  No one forces them to come.  No one bribes them.  No one even encourages them to come.  Yet, they come.  They have a hunger to learn more and excel. 

The rest of the day was just spent enjoying Raahil.  He is so active.  He is so talkative.  Babies grow and change so much in just five months.  I can hardly believe that he is the same baby we knew back in Seattle in November.

Scripture for the Day:
 
Blessed is He who considers the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.  Psalm 41:1.

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