I had skipped church this morning and was sitting at the laundromat pondering this holy day, this Palm Sunday. (Long digression: I have been crunched for time lately and my pile of dirty clothes outmatched my pile of clean clothes; I was dipping into the reserves – those clothes I wear only when I have nothing else to wear) I don’t feel guilty about missing church – we should never feel guilty about skipping church – but I was a little sad that I didn’t handle my time better.
As I was watching my laundry tumble in the dryer, I was thinking about the Palm Sunday story: as Jesus and his disciples were walking toward Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of his friends ahead and told them to bring back a donkey and colt. The two disciples scampered off and returned shortly with the animals. Jesus’ buddies put their cloaks on the beast, then Jesus climbed on and moseyed down the dusty road. Shortly thereafter, the crowds began spreading out their cloaks and cutting palm branches to place on the road in front of him as Jesus moved along.
“The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’” (Matthew 21:9, NIV)
I’ve been reflecting on this passage and what it means – do I welcome Jesus into my own life like those along the road toward Jerusalem? Am I shouting “Jesus is here!” every morning as I wake? Do I look at Him with overflowing love and awe? Do I speak of Jesus’ love in exuberant ways to those around me? Am I recklessly running after Him, casting off my cares, my worries, and my to-do lists to be with Him?
I like to think of myself as being a fairly reserved individual – someone who is cool under pressure and can take care of business. But how often do I let this ‘coolness’ keep me from expressing all that I feel, know, and believe? How often do I let my reserved self hold back my joyous self?
How crazy of me to not be one of those on the side of the road shouting for joy at Jesus’ appearances in my life! How silly of me to fail to recognize Jesus’ presence in my life each day! How many fetters have I placed on my soul – on my joy – to not be willing to dance, like David, with all my might? May God give me the ability to live in the freedom I have to lay myself down before Jesus and to shout with uncontainable joy at the top of my voice of His love!
much love. sheth.