April 17, Palm Sunday
April 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
To this point, this blog has adopted a different approach on Sundays. For the days of the week, we have looked at a passage of Scripture and considered implications of the passage for our lives. On Sundays, we have instead considered community-based activities as a way to emulate the life of Christ.
This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the day when the church celebrates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. This is a significant day in the church calendar, for it marks the beginning of Holy Week. This week, the church observes the events of Christ’s arrest and crucifixion. The celebration culminates on Easter Sunday, when we celebrate the Resurrection.
Today we celebrate Palm Sunday. The story of Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem can be found in Matthew 21.1-16. As we read this passage, we notice a progression of events. Jesus rides into the city on a donkey, fulfilling the prophecies found in Isaiah 62.11 and Zechariah 9.9. As Jesus enters the city, the people welcome him and throw down their garments and palm branches to create a path for him. Jesus goes and clears the Temple of the thieves and moneychangers after his hero’s welcome, and then heals many people. Finally, before retiring for the night, he encourages his detractors to listen to what children are saying about him, for they are able to worship as well as (and sometimes, more truly than) adults.
Jesus enters and immediately challenges the status quo. The season of Lent is meant to be a time of self-reflection, repentance, and penance. Today, ask yourself: What kind of shape is my heart in? Is it ready to accept Christ’s entry? Would I be like the ones who attempted to stop Jesus? Or would I have the heart of a child and be able to recognize the Messiah and welcome him with open arms?
This week, engage in activities that open your heart to Christ in anticipation of Easter. If your church offers Holy Week gatherings, attend these are you are able. If not, intentionally set aside times of self-reflection and repentance this week.
As we journey through Lent together, may we fix our eyes upon the Cross.