Sunday, April 5, 2009

Riding High on a Dream

This week, Holy Week, my posts are going to follow Christ's last week with his friends, in real time - one day at a time. Today is Palm Sunday:

"They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord - the King of Israel..."

Palm Sunday is one of my favorite mornings at church. Every year, without fail, the mass of children tug my heartstrings when they march into the sanctuary waving palm branches. Maybe it's the way they sling them about (elderly worshipers have been warned to sit a few seats in from the center aisle), or maybe it's the look on their faces - pure radiant light - as they sing. Even the reluctant, slinking their way in dragging their branch "I'm only doing this because I HAVE to..." can't help but get into the occasion once they're half way down.

I can imagine how excited Christ's followers were.
  • "We've finally done it!"
  • "This is what we've been waiting for!"
  • "It's going to be nothing but smooth-sailing from here on..."
  • "Look! That's MY Savior and friend!"
Sometimes, especially right in the middle of struggle, and tension, and stress, it's good to simply celebrate regardless. We know Jesus; we know the rest of the story; we know how wonderful it is to live a life of exuberant faith; we know how much God loves us.

Sure, it's difficult to maintain optimism and hope in the face of tough times. But Jesus IS our hope, and it's not Pollyanna or pie in the sky when we celebrate Jesus; it's a simple statement of a spiritual truth.

So let's go nuts today! Let's wave the branches and sing the songs! Let's not allow the small things to come between us and the life-giving affirmation of a Savior, riding into town on a donkey, coming for me and for you.

Peace, love, hope and joy!

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