Holy Week – Palm Sunday, April 13

4.13palmWhat First United Methodist Church Means to Me This Palm Sunday
by Pat Bruns

Focus Scripture: This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
     humble, and mounted on a donkey,
     and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Matthew 21:4-5

The glorious exaltations of the first Palm Sunday were, “Hosanna! Hosanna!” Five days later the echo of those words was, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

There are many theories about what changed in less than a week. I think little changed between Palm Sunday and Good Friday. Few people really wanted to follow Jesus, even those who waved branches and carpeted the dusty street with their coats. Few really wanted to follow Jesus when they pounded rusty spikes into Jesus’ feet.

It could be most people were expecting Jesus to take care of the problems before them: growing economic disparity, punishing the poor for their impoverishment, persecuting those who were not like them, increasing militarization of the nation, growing fear of terrorism. It could be most people simply blamed Jesus for not fixing all that was wrong. If people expected Jesus to do that, they were making a mistake.

Over 2,000 years later, how do we avoid making the same mistake? If our shouts of “Hosanna!” are to override the cries of “Crucify him,” it is up to us to become partners with God in following the way of Jesus. If God’s purposes are to become real in our lives and our world, we must live out those intentions daily. We must offer mercy and seek justice.

Lenten Practice: Think about what you can do this week to bring God’s love to the world. Decide how you will shout “Hosanna!” in ways that drown out the cries of “Crucify him!”

Lenten Prayer: God of relentless love and bold compassion, as I enter Holy Week, show me how to make every day holy, not just in thought and feeling but in the way I live in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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