The blog page of our brand new website will be used for a lot of things. Periodically I will write reflections and/or observations. I will share prayers. I will use this space to help point out God. And, if anyone is interested, they can offer a blog post and we will absolutely share it.
But, often, I will share with all the readers some of what I am coming across in my studies for the upcoming worship service. This week, as we approach the drama of Holy Week, we begin with Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We call this day Palm Sunday. Jesus entered into Jerusalem and the people greeted him like a king – they waved palm branches and laid down their cloaks. But, Jesus did not enter with the ‘trappings of power’ – he did not enter through the gates on a powerful horse with guards and banners flying in the air. Instead, he entered on the back of a donkey. Why? Because he came to proclaim a different kind of kingdom – the Kingdom of God.
The people, initially excited, very quickly turned. Because he was there to up-end the status quo. How do you think you would have reacted? Would the shouts of ‘hosanna’ faded quickly from your lips too? We will reflect on all of this when we gather on Sunday morning for worship. In the meantime, a poem for you to consider:
Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,
The seething holy city of my heart,
The saviour comes. But will I welcome him?
Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;
They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,
And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find
The challenge, the reversal he is bringing
Changes their tune. I know what lies behind
The surface flourish that so quickly fades;
Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,
The hardness of the heart, its barricades,
And at the core, the dreadful emptiness
Of a perverted temple. Jesus come
Break my resistance and make me your home.
—From Sounding the Seasons, by Malcolm Guite, CanterburyPress 2012