After telling a parable to the crowd at Jericho, Jesus went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, saying, "Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it.'" So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?" They said, "The Lord needs it." Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying,
"Blessed is the king
who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven,
and glory in the highest heaven!"
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."
Soon we will head out and bless palms by the water. We will gather with our neighbors from the Lutheran Church and process each to our own churches. We will move from ringing bells and waving palms as we march to a solemn passion reading. A day of drama remembering the ultimate drama, God's once and for offering for the whole world. So it is a day where we are at once happy and sad, exuberant and morose. Sort of like returning to junior high for a while in order to remember God's incredible love for us who rarely deserve it.
Today, I ask God for the strength to be wholly present to the whole drama. May I neither be too morose in our celebration or too light in our mourning. May we all enter this Holy Week with expectations of being changed by the powerful love of God, which is willing to sacrifice all to save each and every one of us.