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“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.” —Acts 2:4

Sunday, March 29

The Lord’s Day

Minute for Mission: Justice Advocacy

 

The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness (OPW) in Washington, DC, is responsible for advocating social justice policies approved by the General Assembly that have implications for the federal government.

Presbyterian work in justice advocacy began with John Calvin, who was ahead of his time in advocating for public education in 16th-century Geneva, Switzerland. Calvin underscored Jesus’ resolve to address and even confront earthly powers during his ministry. Similarly, Presbyterians today are called to remind elected officials that their role as public servants is a calling to prophesy, not to profiteer.

Since revamping our internship and summer fellowship programs in 2011, the OPW is witnessing an upsurge in young adult interest in serving in public witness ministries. At the same time, we are hosting PC(USA) middle school, high school, and college groups visiting DC for issue briefings, congressional visits, and exposure to justice-advocacy work. Large numbers of eager youth and young adults are responding to God’s call to overturn the tables of injustice in the United States and across the globe.

On this Palm Sunday, we commemorate a parade for Jesus, who is being celebrated as a healer and prophet. Jesus’ commitment is to overturn the wrongs of society to bring liberty and justice for all. Jesus said at the beginning of his ministry: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free” (Luke 4:18 NIV). These words are not an aside to the gospel. Compassionate and prophetic discipleship, motivated by love, shows itself in this willingness to challenge the principalities and powers to do justice.

On April 17–20, more than 300 Presbyterians will gather in Washington, DC, for Compassion, Peace, and Justice Training Day and Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Consider attending or sponsoring a Presbyterian young adult. Visit pcusa.org/washington for more information.

J. Herbert Nelson II, director, PC(USA) Office of Public Witness

Let us pray

Lord of freedom and promise, guide our feet to find the faith to move beyond passive lives that cry “Lord Jesus” yet fail to speak truth in love to power. Give us courage to be bridge builders of hope for those treated unjustly. Amen.

Sunday Lectionary and Hymns

Mark 11:1–11 or John 12:12–16
“Filled with Excitement” /
“Mantos y palmas”
GTG 199

Ps. 118:1–2, 19–29
“All People That on Earth Do Dwell”
GTG 385, HB 24, PH 220, 221
Isa. 50:4–9a
“O God, Our Faithful God”

PH 277
Ps. 31:9–16
“Psalm 31:9–16”
PH 182

Phil. 2:5–11
“Once in Royal David’s City”
GTG 140, HB 462, PH 49

Mark 14:1–15:47
“Go to Dark Gethsemane”
GTG 220, HB 193, PH 97
or
Mark 15:1–39 (40–47)
“There in God’s Garden”
GTG 226

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 84; 150
First Reading Zechariah 9:9-12
Second Reading 1 Timothy 6:12-16
Alternate Second Reading Zechariah 12:9-11; 13:1, 7-9
Gospel Reading Matthew 21:12-17
Evening Psalms 42; 32

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