I just love Palm Sunday; I always have. Sometimes in the Church our celebrations during Holy Week can feel a little morose, or at the very least, flat. This is because we remember Jesus’ death on the cross, and before that, his last meal with his disciples. Christians then save the celebrating for Easter Sunday.
But before that, we celebrate Palm Sunday, and yesterday was a wonderful day! It was a blessing to baptize my little cousin/niece (she’s my goddaughter’s daughter – how neat is that) and to preach on such a special day.
What I carry with me from my time with you yesterday is the contrast between our current political climate and Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. It hadn’t carried a person before. An ordinary donkey on an ordinary day with Jesus on top, looking quite ordinary compared to the King expected. Jesus lived out Philippians 2; his humility is something for us to emulate every day.
In a world where it’s all about us and where the presidential campaign (taking front seat in today’s news cycle) feels divisive and nasty, we remember Jesus – he wasn’t about appearances or winning an election. He didn’t save seats for the powerful or turn people away.
Jesus truly defied the expectations of the people that day, and this week I will continue to sit with a truth I mentioned yesterday: God defies our expectations today. How does Jesus defy yours?
Also remember Jesus came to be one of us so that we would know him; we see this as he looks over Jerusalem and weeps. And finally, and perhaps most importantly, in Christ there is absolutely no shame.
Easter – Holy Week – finds us in all of these places and more this year. Wherever you are at, this story – this truth – holds something for *you.*
I was more vulnerable yesterday with you because in my sermon prep, these truths resonated with me and pushed me. As we walk through this week to Easter – something we celebrate just once a year – let us take some time to allow God to work in us, the same power we saw then, as Jesus defeated death.
Palm Sunday, a celebration! Happy Easter to you and yours …