March 18 – 22, 2024

March 18 – 22, 2024

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Read John 13:1-17    

On December 9, 1917, General Sir Edmund Allenby, commander of British forces—after capturing the city of Jerusalem during World War I—rode his horse to the Jaffa Gate to enter Jerusalem to accept the surrender of the city from the Ottoman mayor of the city. The general and his entourage dismounted and walked through the gate. They purposely avoided any grandiosity or Christ-like pretensions as they entered the city. Allenby entered on foot in a show of respect for the city and to avoid comparison with Kaiser Wilhelm II’s entry in 1898 as a conquering emperor with his entourage riding on prancing white horses. Jesus chose to enter mounted on a humble donkey. General Allenby did not see himself worthy of either; he chose to dismount and enter on foot. (Simon Montefiore)

On Palm Sunday, Jesus, in fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 9:9), chose to enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Jesus came to be a Servant, not an insurrectionist, political leader or military liberator. “For even the son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Jesus taught His disciples to be servants by His own example, including His submission to death by crucifixion.

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:14-15)

If Jesus, God in human flesh, washed His disciples’ feet as an example for both them and us, we must not hesitate to serve others for His glory. How might we be servants in the name of Christ to those around us? We need to be sensitive to the Spirit’s voice as He prompts us. We need to hear and obey quickly.  


What do we need to start doing to improve our response to the Spirit’s promptings to being a servant? What might be hindering us from being effective servants? What changes do you have to make in your approach to people?


Spiritual Growth

Pray for spiritual renewal and growth within the church community, that individuals may deepen their relationship with God. Ask for wisdom and discernment in understanding God’s Word and applying it to daily life. Pray for spiritual disciplines such as prayer, Bible study, and worship to become integral parts of every member’s life.



Read Matthew 21:14-17

I had an uplifting experience while babysitting my two-year-old granddaughter. I was sitting in a chair in my granddaughter’s bedroom to keep her company while she was falling asleep. She was lying quietly in her bed for a few minutes. Then without any prompting, she began to sing the following song:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul. O my soul, worship His holy name.
The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning.
It’s time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.

Bless the Lord, O my soul. O my soul, worship His holy name.
Sing like never before. O my soul, I’ll worship Your holy name.

(Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin)

She repeated this song over and over again for about fifteen minutes and then fell asleep. I felt like I was in heaven hearing the angels singing. It was such a heart-touching moment for me to be there. I wished I could have recorded it.

The sweet tender voice of a two-year-old child singing resonated in my head throughout that night and the following day. It was a very worshipful song that drew me into the presence of God. I was very much encouraged as the song lifted up my spirit as it resounded in my head through much of the day. 

On Palm Sunday the children were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Matthew 21:15). The Jewish religious leaders, very much disturbed by these words, protested to Jesus, “Do you hear what these are saying?” Jesus quoted Psalm 8:2 in answering them, “Have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants, You have ordained praise’” (Matthew 21:16).

God has implanted within children the instinct to naturally and spontaneously praise Him. That evening, I heard a two-year-old do this. We have been created to praise God. It is designed within our very nature. This is our purpose in life (Ephesians 1:11-12).


Since your purpose in life is to praise God and glorify Him, how might you do this amidst the daily routines of life? Can you do this wholeheartedly? 



Pray for God’s guidance in reaching out to the local community and sharing the love of Christ through acts of service and evangelism. Ask for opportunities to demonstrate God’s love in practical ways, meeting the needs of those who are marginalized or suffering. Pray for transformation and compassion as individuals within the church seek to show the love of Christ in their spheres of influence.




Read Luke 19:41-44; Ezekiel 33:7-16

On Palm Sunday, Jesus gazed at Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives and was moved to tears as He saw the city. His heart was torn with compassion. God’s heart of pain is described in Jeremiah:

“Since My people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips Me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wounds of My people? Oh, that My head were a spring of water and My eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night for the stain of My people.” (Jeremiah 8:21—9:1)

Jesus wept because He knew about the future destruction of Jerusalem and warned His disciples. Normally, when an attacking army approaches a walled city, the people run into the city for protection. Instead, Jesus told them not to enter the city and to flee from the city into the mountains (Luke 21:21). Why?

In AD 70 the Roman armies attacked Jerusalem to crush a Jewish rebellion. The siege of the city was described by an eyewitness, Josephus, a Jewish historian. The siege began during a Jewish religious festival when the city’s population was swollen by Jewish pilgrims from other regions. Added to this throng were the inhabitants of the surrounding towns rushing to the city for protection. The population of the city was swollen to about 1.1 million people. (Josephus)

After a six-month’s siege the Roman armies attacked. Normally, when an invading army enters a city, besides crushing any resistance, they would search for plunder. When the Roman soldiers entered the buildings, the sight and smell of the dead bodies compelled them to abandon their quest for loot. The streets were littered with corpses. Lacking space for the carcasses, some were thrown over the walls. Close to a million people died. The few survivors were taken away as slaves. (Montefiore)

“As I live, declares the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 33:11). Since Jesus knew in advance of this coming carnage, He wept.


As you begin to experience more of the heart of Jesus, how do you feel toward your unsaved friends?


Unity and Fellowship

Pray for the members of the church to continue to grow together in love and unity. Ask for God’s guidance in fostering a welcoming environment where everyone feels valued and supported. Pray for opportunities for fellowship and meaningful connections among church members, both within and beyond scheduled gatherings.



Read Luke 18:9-14 

On Palm Sunday Jesus entered Jerusalem humbly on a lowly donkey’s foal. Others have entered the city with great vanity and self-glory, such as the German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, in 1898. He was not content with entering the city through a narrow city gate. Instead, he ordered that a breach be made in the wall so that he and his entourage could march into the city as a column of victorious troops. One historian described Wilhelm’s ostentatious entry:

“The Kaiser sported the white uniform with the full-length gold-threaded veil sparkling in the sunlight, flowing from a spiked helmet surmounted with a burnished golden eagle, escorted by a cavalcade of giant Prussian cavalry units in steel helmets waving Crusader-style banners and the Sultan’s lancers in red waistcoats, blue pantaloons and green turbans and armed with lances.” (Montefiore)

Wilhelm’s vanity and desire for self-glory resulted in his downfall. Historians described him as “desperate for applause and success, he wanted every day to be his birthday, arrogant, with an immeasurably exaggerated self-confidence and desire to show off, disguising his deep insecurities by swagger and tough talk.” (Montefiore)

With these and other major weaknesses, Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II proved a failure as a leader of his country. He was forced to abdicate his throne by a military takeover and went into exile in 1918. After Germany’s defeat in WWI, demand was made that Wilhelm be hanged as a war criminal. However, the country in which he had taken exile refused to extradite him. 

In contrast to Wilhelm, Jesus says, “Blessed are the meek” (Matthew 5:5). In Jesus’ parable of the “Pharisee and the Tax Collector,” He concludes by saying, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:14). Jesus is our Example. He humbled Himself on the Cross and was exalted to the highest position in heaven. As we follow Him in humble obedience, we will be exalted in sharing His glory, adopted into God’s eternal family. Reveal the humble Servant—the Savior and only Way to reconciliation with God—to others by your own example, serving them lovingly in His name.


What can we do to protect ourselves from our natural human quest for self-glory?  How can we grow to be more like Jesus in humility?


Healing and Comfort

Pray for those within the church who are facing physical, emotional, or spiritual challenges, asking for God’s healing touch and comfort. Lift up individuals who are grieving the loss of loved ones, facing illness, or struggling with difficult circumstances. Ask for God’s presence to be tangibly felt by those in need, and for the church community to offer support and encouragement to one another.



Read Matthew 23:37-39

As Jesus approached Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, He wept (Luke 19:41). After He had entered the city, He again expressed His deep sorrow for the people living there, those who failed to recognize Him as their Messiah, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, …  how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37). Jesus’ tears of grief are in contrast to the tears of joy shed by Israeli soldiers when they entered Jerusalem during the Six-Day War, June 5-10, 1967. The event is described:

“… the Israeli Sherman tanks fired at the Lions’ Gate, smashing the bus that was blocking it, and blew open the doors. Under raking Jordanian fire, the Israelis charged the gate. The paratroopers broke into the Via Dolorosa and charged onto the Temple Mount. ‘There you are on a half-track after two days of fighting with shots still filling the air, and suddenly you enter this wide-open space that everyone has seen before in pictures,’ wrote one officer, ‘and though I’m not religious, I don’t think there was a man who wasn’t overwhelmed with emotion. Something special had happened.’ There was a skirmish with Jordanian troops before the officer announced over the radio: ‘The Temple Mount is in our hands!’ …

“Meanwhile on Mount Zion, a company of the Jerusalem Brigade burst through a portal in the Zion Gate, hurtling down the steep hill, just as soldiers of the same unit broke through the Dung Gate. All headed for the Wall. All three companies converged simultaneously on the holy place. There the soldiers prayed, wept, applauded, danced and sang.” (Montefiore)

Note that Jesus’ tears of grief and the Israeli soldiers’ tears of joy were both over the same city, albeit at very different times. Which one reflects your own feelings? Do you grieve for the lost like Jesus? Or do you weep tears of joy because you now have full access into the presence of God like the Israeli soldiers? We need to weep tears of sorrow because so many are not yet able to shed tears of joy.


Which moves you more, the tears of Jesus or the tears of the Israeli soldiers? Why?


Church Leadership

Pray for wisdom, discernment, and humility for church leaders (elders and pastors) as they seek to shepherd the congregation and make decisions guided by God’s will. Pray for church staff to feel the love and presence of God in their lives as they serve the congregation. Pray for the empowerment and equipping of deacons to fulfill their care-giving roles effectively and joyfully.



  • Simon S. Montefiore, Jerusalem: The Biography (New York: Vintage Books, 2011), 1-13, 396, 418, 518.
  • Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin, “10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord),” song released in 2012 by Sparrow Records.
  • William Whiston, The New Complete Works of Josephus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregal Publications, 1998).


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