I went to a surprisingly refreshing Palm Sunday service this morning with my family. This Sunday prepares us for the week. The unbroken colt he rode into Jerusalem during his triumphant entry. Jesus weeping over the city as he sees it. The heaviness of betrayal, denial, and death. The angry mob, who begged for it. The torture. Palm Sunday reminds us of the mockery they made of Him.
I don’t know about you but I can’t waive a silk palm leaf at a white guy dressed in a robe with any sort of gusto or imagination. I hate every part of it. Maybe it’s because in a few days they would exchange those palm leaves for angry fists waved at Him as they begged for His death. Maybe it’s because I can relate to the crowd too…
Honestly, I didn’t want to go to church today. I was reluctant to get up and shower. I have just had enough of suffering lately and I didn’t really want to hear about any more. The service talked about the last days of Jesus, and that is not why I am calling it surprising.
What surprised me was the lack of a pastor to look at this morning, to gain insight from. Instead, they showed images of the events leading up to the Cross, and those images were front and center. The pastor was present but from a place that we couldn’t really see him. There was no spotlight on him when he spoke or read or prayed. He wasn’t the important part.
Jesus and His story were the focal point.
It may have been a bit uncomfortable to some. After all, it was the church not being churchy. But for me, it was exactly right.
This week and weekend as we are invaded by eggs, chocolates and bunnies…As we dress to impress and make sure we show up to a service…As we spend time with family, laugh with excited children, and enjoy the hunt…I pray that we would keep Jesus and His story front and center.
Because the story hasn’t changed, friends! God still thinks you are worth the life of His Son. He is still pursuing you even now, even here.