What do you say about Palm Sunday that you haven’t said before? Last year, we thought we would be leaving our isolation, our shut-down, our quarantine within weeks, but it did not happen. This year, we know that the end is coming as vaccinations are on the rise, but for many, we will still be waiting at Easter. As we prepare, perhaps we can take a closer look at what we are preparing for. Were the disciples and the crowds preparing for a parade, or a revolution? Were they preparing for a worldly kingdom, or the reign of God? As others prepared to betray and kill Jesus, Jesus readied for his death in preparation for the resurrection. Perhaps Pilate and the soldiers prepared for things to return to normal once the crowds were gone. Perhaps some of the religious leaders and even Jesus’ own disciples thought things would go back to the way they used to be, while Jesus was preparing for something new. But first, everything old had to pass away. As we prepare for a season post-Covid, are we preparing to just go back to how we used to be, or has God helped us to become something new, something that may take a little longer in this season?
Jesus instructs his disciples to fetch a young donkey for him to ride. Then he rides it into Jerusalem and a procession forms with people laying their coats and leafy branches on the road, while shouting out “Hosanna, Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord”. Then Jesus goes into the temple, looks around and leaves because it is late.
Prayer of Brokenness
Almighty God, we confess that we have looked forward to the wrong things. We have failed to perceive what You are doing in our world and in our lives. Instead, we have only prepared for what benefits us, what satisfies us, and are often disappointed when things do not go our way. Forgive us for our short-sightedness. Call us into Your ways of deep listening with love, compassion, and mercy. Help us to slow down instead of rushing forward, to be considerate of others’ needs above our wants. As we shout “Hosanna!” may we truly understand what it means to ask you to Save Us, and to understand what it is to belong to Your Beloved Community, on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray all things. Amen