Journey to the Cross
Pause. Take the deepest breath you've taken all day.
Use this moment to choose stillness in the midst of news and crisis.
Place yourself into the story – into God's story.
Let God enter your mind and your heart today.
Lord, please save us! Lord, please let us succeed!
The one who enters in the Lord’s name is blessed; we bless all of you from the Lord’s house. The Lord is God! He has shined a light on us! So lead the festival offering with ropes all the way to the horns of the altar. You are my God—I will give thanks to you! You are my God—I will lift you up high! Give thanks to the Lord because he is good, because his faithful love lasts forever.
So with these psalm verses we’re back to a processional leading to the temple.
Followers of Jesus are festival people. We’ve been taught for thousands of years by those who worshiped God before us, by the stories and the scenes that have brought us to this moment, that we are people made to celebrate. We’ve got to say the words and do the dances and sing the songs and fly the banners and, yes, wave the palms.
And yet, many of our churches won't be gathering to celebrate Palm Sunday today. Because of the Corona virus, many of us won't be walking into Holy Week, waving palm branches together at church. I hope you can take a moment to celebrate at home today – because celebration is a connecting force across time and space. Maybe you're meeting with your congregation online. What if you took a piece of paper and crafted a palm branch to wave and cry out to Jesus, “Hosanna! Save us now!” This action and this cry for deliverance connect us to the story of Jesus.
Hundreds of years before Jesus rode the donkey and entered into Jerusalem, these psalm verses bounced around circles of worship, temples, and houses. Then and today, they remind the people that joining the celebration is a way to enter the story, to become a part of those who wait, who welcome, and who worship.
God of the world, I have waited for you and now I welcome you. Place the palm branch of welcome into my hand and heart today. Prepare me to walk alongside you today and throughout this week. With gratitude for all that has been to get me to this place and all that waits to ground me in your story – I say, “Praise the Lord!” Amen.
Go into the next moment of your life with a sense of celebration, of gratitude, of curiosity, and with the knowledge that you are a part of God’s story. Each and every line of it.