April 14 Preparing: Richard ( Palm Sunday/ Passion Week)

May your Lenten season be one of challenge, commitment, and support as the church responds to the call of God – “Return to me with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). Rend Your Heart

“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Luke 19:28-40

19:28 After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

19:29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples,

19:30 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.

19:31 If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it.'"

19:32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them.

19:33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"

19:34 They said, "The Lord needs it."

19:35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.

19:36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road.

19:37 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,

19:38 saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!"

19:39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop."

19:40 He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."

As we lift up our shouts of praise on this Palm Sunday, might we also lay down ways of living that do not honor God, our neighbor, and all life around us? As we lift up our voices crying out for an end to injustice and suffering, might we also lay down our lives, allowing Christ to fill them with humility and the new beginnings of hope? As we lift up our palms with songs to bless the One who comes in peace, might we also lay down the superficial cries of victory and triumph? As we lift up our eyes to see a vision of earth and heaven made one, might we also lay down our expectations of how God will change us and our world; of how God will come into our lives to accomplish this? As we lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord, might we also lay down our hearts until they burn with the desires of God’s heart? And in our lifting up and laying down, God might just weave us into a tapestry of resurrection.

The triumphant parade with shouts of joy and blessing will cause our hearts to rise and swell to the highest of highs. The excitement of the boisterous parade where Jesus is accepted by the crowds will fade, and our hearts will slip to the depths of despair, and Jesus is rejected. Holy Week brings us to a space and a time for lament, for struggle, for sorrow. Time slows, and we will walk through betrayal and unanswered prayer into darkness and death. We have done the work to prepare our hearts to walk from the procession to the table, from the cross to the stone-cold tomb.

Today, as we celebrate Love Incarnate who came to live, and work, and dance among us, perhaps we are the borrowed colt. Perhaps we need to lay down our coats to line the way. The story continues, and we have prepared our feet to follow its path with a hope that is stronger than despair, a light that is stronger than darkness, and a love that is stronger than death.

Submitted in Love,
Richard Weeber, Elder – Lakeshore Christian Church (2019)