April 2, 2023 Cleaning House In The House of Prayer (Lent 6 – Palm Sunday)

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/814024480

Screencast-o-matic: https://screenpal.com/watch/c0fnFkVa0bn


If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: Prayer of Confession & Words of Assurance
We confess, O God, that we are attracted to false gods and easy answers in life. We are vulnerable to temptations that could damage us in ways that are not obvious. Forgive us that sin that draws us like moths to a flame. Restore us and fill us with godly resolve. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Hear the good news: Christ died for our sins and rose again that God may free us from the tyranny of judging others to live fully in the power of God’s grace. In the name of Jesus Christ, God forgives your sins and offers you a transformed future. Live fully into God’s grace! Amen.

HYMN 277 Tell Me the Stories of Jesus
Tell Me the Stories of Jesus Primary Song Lyric Video – Vocals and Lyrics for Practice

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − The Centering Prayer

Lord Jesus, today I am far less than the person I want to be or can be with your help. I ask today that you would be more and more the center of my life. Guide me to all that is good, cleanse me from all that is not. Teach me Your ways and form in me Your nature. Help me to serve you as I am gifted. Help me to notice my neighbor and work through me to redeem my neighborhood. I am a sinner; please be my Shepherd, my Savior and my Lord. Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 349 Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus Lyrics YouTube by Johnny Carrasquillo

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Cleaning House In The House of Prayer
Text: Luke 19:35-48
Series: The Jesus Revival (Times Of Refreshing)

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Wesley Sermon Audio


Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.

Luke 19:35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their garments on the colt they set Jesus upon it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road. 37 As he was now drawing near, at the descent of th. e Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works 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!”

39 And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” 41 And when he drew near and saw the city he wept over it, 42 saying, “Would that even today you knew the things that make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you and surround you, and hem you in on every side, 44 and dash you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.” 47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him; 48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words.

Acts 3:19 Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,


HYMN 338 Where He Leads Me
Where He Leads Me – Willie Nelson

BENEDICTION The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!


For the past 6 weeks during Lent, we’ve been talking about something that God did in a little town called Wilmore, Kentucky, something God did that is being called the 2023 Asbury revival, where students just started praying. And other people prayed with them and they prayed overnight. They prayed overnight for 16 days. And they felt very close to God and energized in their faith.

And because of that, people are calling it a revival, and I wanted to take us through the experience of Jesus to talk about what happened in the life of Jesus and how Jesus brought a revival back then so that we can compare what God is doing now and what God did through Jesus back then. And it all started in Matthew 4:17 when Jesus said– or when it says from that time, Jesus began to preach saying, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

Now, that word repent is a key. Repent, the word, indicates a willingness to change. Now, we’re not always able to change. But it indicates a willingness to change from “the way we’ve always done it before” to what God seems to be asking us to do now.

And what happens with churches, all too often, as we get used to the way we have always done it before, to where our comfortable, familiar habits, whenever they get threatened, we feel very upset and anxious. And this is what happened on Palm Sunday, which is the day that we are celebrating today,

Revival brings opposition, revival brings resistance to change. Richard Blackaby said about revival: Every revival in history has had its critics, usually within the church, because they disagreed with how God was doing it. And you see, friends, if you’re ever going to be frustrated, you’re going to be frustrated when you get try to get God to do things your way because God knows better. God is wiser and smarter than we are. And all the way through the life of Jesus, but especially during Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. The opposition of the institutional church of Jesus’ day, which was the temple and all of its rules … The opposition of the temple rose up and caused him to die upon the cross. So it is a lesson for us to learn here.

And here is the first lesson, on this particular day, the Sunday before Passover, there was a gigantic military parade, the Roman governor and the soldiers, there was a giant military parade coming into Jerusalem.

And then later that same day, the disciples brought Jesus a baby donkey, a foal. Not a big war horse but a little donkey. And Jesus gets on it and he rides from the Mount of Olives – about a mile away from the temple – he rides down the hill and back up to the east gate of the temple. Now this fulfills an Old Testament prophecy, Zechariah 9:9: Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion, shout aloud O daughter of Jerusalem. Lo, your king, the Messiah, in other words, comes to you. He is triumphant and victorious. And he is humble, riding on a donkey, on the foal of a donkey. Jewish people looked forward to the coming of the Messiah, because the assumption was the Messiah would overthrow the Roman government. If you were Jewish you understood what it meant if somebody rode a donkey through that east gate. You understood what it meant. But to the Romans, who would instantly send soldiers to execute anyone who claimed to be king, the soldiers had no clue.

A few weeks ago we celebrated Saint Patrick’s Day. The picture on the screen shows the Chicago river, which for some strange reason – I do not understand this – people from Chicago dye green on Saint Patrick’s Day. Makes no sense to me. And people dress up like the man wearing a green suit, and they dance around on Saint Patrick’s Day. You have never seen me in a green suit in my life. I would never do this. But because I’m a part of this culture I understand what it means when I see somebody dancing and dressed like a leprechaun.

So this was a very astute way for Jesus to announce to all the people: “You’ve been wondering if I’m the messiah. You’ve been wondering if I’m the king. Well, see here, look, I’m on the donkey. It’s me.” And the people go nuts with happiness. The disciples brought the colt to Jesus and throw their garments on the colt, no saddle. They sat Jesus upon it, and as he rode along, they spread their garments on the road creating, in other words, a carpet with every step. And as he was now drawing near to the descent of the Mount of Olives, people began to take palm leaves and lay them on the road. That’s why we call it Palm Sunday.

Now in the picture, you’re looking at a picture of the temple so that you can understand the size of this. See the number three, that side there is three football fields wide. Do you see the number five in the picture? That side, there, is five football fields long. This is a big building. And then that. big open space in the middle there – that’s where they had the tables and the money changers.

That’s where they had the sacrificial animals. You know how you’re not allowed to bring a drink into Six Flags or Disney World. Supposedly, you were allowed to bring an animal to the temple to get sacrificed. But they’d always find something wrong with it. But you could buy an animal there. .. if you had money, and you could therefore buy your forgiveness for your sins. And so that whole giant area there was crowded with all of this stuff going on.

Now, at the bottom of the picture there, you’ll see a little gate. That’s the east gate. That’s the gate where the messiah is supposed to come into Jerusalem, riding the donkey. And you see the road that goes down to the right on the screen. It goes down a valley, three-quarters of a mile up to the Mount of Olives. And this is the way that Jesus came into Jerusalem. And it drew a crowd. People got excited. And the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen. All the miracles that Jesus had done. And they began to shout, ”Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord, peace and heaven and glory in the highest.”

And in the multitude– and some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to him ”Teacher rebuke your disciples.” Tell them to shut up. Jesus answered, ”I tell you if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.’‘ You see, part of the resistance to revival, part of the resistance to change, is the institutional church wants to draw our attention away from Jesus and back to the customs of the church. And certainly, the Pharisees were uncomfortable with Jesus getting this attention. But the people in the crowd didn’t care; they were excited, they were happy, they kept shouting, ”Hosanna in the highest.”

The second thing, when there’s a revival, is that the children get excited. Now, we all know the children are supposed to sit still and not make a sound during church. They’re supposed to, but is that very easy? I don’t think it’s very easy! But when children get excited in the church, sometimes it’s just hard for them to sit still. Matthew 21 describes this when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things that he did. And the children shouting. Oh my gosh, the children are shouting. The children shouting in the temple courts, ”Hosanna to the son of David.” Well, they didn’t like it. Matthew says they were indignant. ”Do you hear what these children are saying?” They asked Jesus. ”Yes.” Replied Jesus, ”And have you never read …” He’s quoting the psalms here. From the lips of children and infants, you, Lord, have called forth your praise. Another gospel says it’s perfect praise … an excitement in the way children share their emotions. But during revival, it just can’t be silenced.

And then Jesus makes a whip, of course, and he enters the temple, and all that vast area, five football fields by three football fields wide, filled with sacrificial animals and tables of coins. And he begins to drive them out of the temple. And as he drives them out of the temple, he says, this to them, “It is written. My house shall be a house of prayer. But you have made it a den of robbers.”

You see, Jesus is cleaning house. The church is meant to be a place of prayer, not a place for commercial activity, not a place for ministers and religious leaders to get rich. But in all honesty, they were – in the customs of the Jewish temple of that day. Jesus is bringing change to the temple. And there are people who do not like it.

Verse 47, and he was teaching daily in the temple. And the chief priests and the scribes and the principal men and the people sought to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do. Why? For all the people hung upon his word, all of the people. All of the people were excited and happy that Jesus was here. So there was opposition. And of course, we know Good Friday is not long away. The opposition wins. Jesus is crucified. And the assumption of the Jewish leaders of that day, the institutional church leaders is that this will end the threat to their temple and the way they have always done it before. But of course, they’re mistaken.

But what happened to the Jesus revival in the New Testament? What happened? Well, they put Jesus in the tomb, but we know he didn’t stay there. And when he came back, everything started up again. You see, this is a reality of revival. It will ebb and flow the way the tide does.

And I find it quite interesting. I had never quite noticed this before. Jesus said, “My Father’s house is meant to be a house of prayer for all the nations.” What you’re looking at here is the only remaining segment of the ancient temple. It is called the Wailing Wall. And what happens at the Wailing Wall is people come there and pray. People of all nations, Gentiles like you and me, Jewish people. What’s left of the temple has become exactly what Jesus intended it to be, a house of prayer for all the nations. What God wants and what Jesus wants will come to pass. But what Jesus is trying to do with his life and his teachings and in this revival that he is stirring up in the lives of people back then, and I think he still stirring it up in the lives of people now. Jesus is ready to do a new thing. Jesus wants us to move from a church that’s made out of stone to a church that’s alive, because it’s made out of people. And we see that happening. After the resurrection, we see that happening after the day of Pentecost. We see that happening in the book of Acts. And we see that happening on down till today. So revival happens at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, from February 8th to February 24th, over 400 hours of continuous prayer overnight. Well, that prayer stopped. The students needed to go back to class. Because that’s important too.

But here’s the important thing for us to understand, revivals don’t end. But they do go underground. Literally, actually, just like Jesus went underground. But they come back. On the screen is an image of a seed. This seed happens to be laying on the surface of the ground, but you know the very first thing the seed begins to do is it begins to work on building its roots. And you see friends, I want to suggest that’s the main key for us to understand from what happened in Wilmore, Kentucky, but also what Jesus did way back then and what Jesus is trying to do now. The first sign of God’s life in you and I is that God begins to prepare the roots. Because see, here’s the truth, friends. If you don’t have roots, you don’t have fruits. Everything depends on a strong root system.

And so the revival of Jesus went up and for three years people saw him and heard what he said and did … and then it went down into the ground because it was time to build the roots. For 49 days after Easter Sunday, the disciples prayed and worked on building their roots. And after the roots come the fruits.

There’s been a lot of argument about what are the true signs of a revival. And there’s been a lot of resistance to the idea that the true sign of a revival is that a giant crowd arrives, watching everything. And certainly that happened in Jesus’s day, but you know also when it happened, it happened in Salem when the tornado hit last Friday. And the Salem department of Emergency Management put on their Facebook page, they said, folks, please don’t drive through the area where the tornado hit, you’re getting in the way of the first responders and their work. So it’s a wonderful thing when revival draws a crowd. It’s a wonderful thing. But that doesn’t mean that the crowd is doing anything more than enjoying the emotions and the celebration. One of the things that happened in Jesus’ life is that four men brought their best friend who was paralyzed, and there were so many spectators surrounding Jesus. They could not get the man who needed him to Jesus. And what the Bible says is they took the thatch off the roof and lowered him through the roof because there were just too many people standing around and watching. And in fact, Jesus told people when they were healed, don’t tell anybody. Don’t tell anybody. Because pretty soon there was such a huge crowd around him that nobody could get to him.

And so it makes sense for revival to go down into the ground because the purpose of good seed is to bring about good fruit. And what the Bible defines as the fruit of the spirit are these nine qualities in the box in the picture to the left. When revival actually happens, you know what you’ll see in the people? Love and joy and peace. When revival actually happens, what you’ll begin to see in people is patience and kindness. And generosity. When revival actually happens, what you’ll begin to see in the lives of people is trustworthiness, gentleness, and self-control. A true revival has seasons. It will ebb and flow like the tides.

And friends, if you’ve had a time in your life where you have felt very, very close to God, and it seems like you are at low tide: Be at peace. If you remain faithful, it will flow back. Because that’s the way God made this world: like evening and morning, winter and summer, true revival has seasons.

Please pray with me. Lord, help us as we read the New Testament to understand that we’re talking about revival. We’re talking about what Jesus did. We’re talking about the truth that we know by faith, that whatever Jesus did back then, Jesus can do right now. And just as disciples rose up and grew in faith. Lord, today, we, too, can rise up and grow in faith. And revival can live in our hearts, no matter where we are, because, Lord, you are with us. And so,Lord, whether it’s a huge revival or just a small season of refreshing, we ask that you would revive us again and bless our church, our community, and, Lord, indeed, our entire region. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )

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