“And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.
“The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there.” – Psalm 87:5, 6

Readings

Isaiah 2:1-11 · Matthew 7:15-29 · Psalm 84

Sermon

The eighty-seventh Psalm, from which our text is taken, is a song of praise to the Lord for His church. In Zechariah we read, “I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain.” Here Jerusalem is the city of truth and Zion the holy mountain. Zion represents a state of love and those in whom love to the Lord reigns. So the Psalmist writes, “Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in the mountain of his holiness. Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion,” and again, “Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof. Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following. For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” It is not the material city and mountain that are here meant. Again, the angels of heaven were seen in vision by John on Mount Zion: “And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred and forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” The Father is the Lord as to His Divine love, and His name written on the forehead is His truth inscribed in the will. Zion was the highest part of Jerusalem; so our Psalm continues with the words, “The Lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.” The gates of Zion are the truths which lead men to states of love. These are precious in the Lord’s sight, more than all the speculations of science or any other knowledge. For without the possession of heavenly love, no other grace is truly valuable. Love is the fulfilling of the law; it disposes the heart to believe and rejoice in the truth.

The Zion, then, whose gates the Lord loves, and of which it shall be said, when He counts up His people, “This man was born there,” is no material city, but a state of life. We naturally have an affection for the place where we were born, where our childhood days were spent. But as the Lord is no respecter of persons, He will certainly be no respecter of cities, or of any one place over another on His beautiful earth. The place of one’s natural birth does not confer any special benefit. A good man is a good man wherever he may have been born.

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“Thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” – Zechariah 9:9

Readings

Zechariah 9:9-17 · Matthew 21:1-14 · Psalm 48

Sermon

Today, Palm Sunday, is one of the traditional festivals of the church. The first record of its celebration appears to have come from Jerusalem, where it was observed with a procession and special liturgy in the fourth century, A.D., but it probably was of long establishment even then.

The Lord entered Jerusalem as its King, took possession of the temple, cast out the money changers and venders of doves, and healed the lame and the blind.

The Lord came into the world to bear witness to the truth. His truth is the King that should rule in our lives. When Pilate asked Him “Art thou a king then?” Jesus answered, “Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” Previously He had told them, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” There is no freedom but in the truth; yet there is much that lies behind this simple statement. Some truth may be a simple intellectual concept; other truth may involve moral obligation. Some truth comes easily and gladly to the mind; for other truth one must labor and sacrifice not only ease but also many deeply ingrained prejudices. The truth is not always what we should like it to be.

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“Behold, thy king cometh unto thee,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Behold, thy king cometh unto thee.” – Matthew 21:5

Readings

Zechariah 9:9-17 · Matthew 21:1-16 · Psalm 30

Sermon

Today is celebrated throughout the Christian world as Palm Sunday in commemoration of the Lord’s entry into Jerusalem at the beginning of the last week of His ministry on earth.

Our text is a simply worded statement to describe a very momentous occasion. And it is directed to everyone. “Behold, thy king cometh unto thee.” In their literal context these words seem to be directed to the city of Jerusalem, the central and largest city of the Holy Land, in which were people of every age and occupation, every way of life, every way of thought and belief, every kind of man, woman, and child, of every social status. But the announcement is so worded that it speaks directly to each individual member of that complex community.

As one stands on the shore of the sea or of a lake and looks toward the sun, a band of light reaches out from the sun over the water and forms a pathway to one’s feet. It is a band of brilliant light coming directly to you. There are others on that shore, each with his own band of light. You cannot see his; he cannot see yours. This band of light is your personal contact with the light in the sky; it is a symbol of that light which comes directly from the King of light to you. The more we know of the world the more will we realize that there are many things in it which speak directly to us in His name.

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