Like so many of us, we are having Sunday morning Bible classes and worship online this Holy Week. In our class meeting at “virtual” First-Baptist-Abilene this morning, we were imagining what it would have been like to be in Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday.
My colleague Ken Lyle suggested to us that in a surprising way, this Holy Week may be for us more like the first Holy Week than ever before. This year, many of the normal securities we take for granted have been stripped away, and we are a bit more like folks in first-century Jerusalem, most of whom lived subsistence lives of little material security – without medical protection from diseases, unable to obtain many basic necessities, fearful of ever-present dangers in a world that often feels out of control. These realities have now drawn near our lives.
And for us, just like the first Palm Sunday, Jesus rides into our socially-distant world on a donkey, coming humbly as the king who reigns with gentleness and forgiveness, who woos rather than dominates, who heals the sick and broken, who rebukes religious hypocrisy, who refuses well-worn political solutions, who drives the greedy from sacred spaces, who welcomes the songs of children and stones, who invites us to experience the “visitation of the Lord” (Lk 19:44).
May we, in this frightening time, find hope in him and imitate the expectant crowds on the first Palm Sunday, singing the prayer: Hosanna = Save Us!
In the spirit of that prayer we live this Holy Week in a world turned upside down. Living not with certainty, but with hope in the humble king who never abandons us, but is ever riding into our lives with grace – with exactly the quantity of grace we need for this day.
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