“There’s no denying how difficult it is to maintain optimism and hope in the face of tough times. But Jesus is our anticipation and our expectation!” (Reaching Toward Easter)
Palm Sunday Rocks!
Palm Sunday has to be one of my “top-five” favorite days of the year. I think what I enjoy the most is the exuberance, the joy, the energy, the excitement – the unrestrained celebration.
I find it easy to identify with all those people at the entrance to Jerusalem, waving palm branches, singing their hearts out, perfectly oblivious to the deeper layers that Jesus represented. Seriously, doesn’t that describe most of us much of the time? We come to church and we get caught up in things… waving our hands to the music… feeling the love… enjoying the message… reaching out to touch Jesus from the very edge of the crowd.
The great crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord— the King of Israel!”
The Pharisees then said to one another, “You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!” – John 12:12-13,19
But so much of the time, when we’re not thinking like disciples, we stay on the surface with the masses, and we stand rooted to our place on the bleachers at the gate to the city, watching, curious, cautious, as Jesus makes his way into the increasing darkness of Jerusalem; and by the time he is arrested on Good Friday, we have gotten over what it was that got us so excited during the parade.
“So today, let’s all go nuts! Let’s wave the branches and sing the songs! Let’s not allow any petty things to come between our great need and the life-giving affirmation of Jesus!” (Reaching Toward Easter, page 113)
NEW LIFE! This morning’s photographs, taken Saturday afternoon, show the subtle beauty of new life pushing its inexorable way through the edges of winter. I love this time of the year, when springtime is defined more by promise than by show.
Hmm, I like that phrase. The practice of real faith is defined more by promise than by show.
The practice of real faith is defined more by promise than by show.
So yes, let’s go nuts for Jesus on Palm Sunday! But let’s not forget to follow him into Jerusalem, to have dinner with him in the Upper Room, to accompany him to Gethsemane, and to stand reverently at the foot of The Cross.
Only then can we be prepared to experience the real glory of Easter Sunday, equipped to live forward into the abundant New Life hinted at by the promise that is today, Palm Sunday.
Peace, and celebration – DEREK