God Is in Charge
Through this Lenten season (and these bulletin backs), I have asked how God dares to enter into our world, “grounding” Godself with the very ordinary stuff of our lives, in order to show how the extraordinary happens. Walking through the Gospel stories from John about the ordinary things like water, light, birth, and death, we see the presence of the Spirit within and around us, boldly proclaiming the extraordinary within the ordinary.
As we walk one step closer to the cross on Palm Sunday, today’s story is no different. An ordinary donkey for a king? A death like a criminal? No wonder the crowds were a little confused; after all, they thought this was the coming messiah to overthrow Rome and make Jerusalem a place for Israel’s reign once again.
Jesus doesn’t say no to the ordinary claims for revolution. He marches into Jerusalem to proclaim that Caesar is not Lord, nor is Rome the head of our lives. But he says that there can be more than an overthrow of the political kingdom that controls the ordinary parts of your lives. There can be an overthrow of the tempter’s kingdom that controls your spirit and your mind. Who’s in charge, he asks?
Today Jesus proclaims the extraordinary: God is in charge. God can bring God’s kingdom here. Remember the Lord’s Prayer? “Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” Perhaps Jesus talks about all those ordinary elements of the earth because he wants to show how God’s kingdom is possible here as well as somewhere else.
Yet in all of Jesus’s messages, he can’t bring the kingdom without us. It is the woman at the well, the man who was blind, the crowd in Jerusalem, and we today who need to see and find the extraordinary within the ordinary. May we, in ordinary ways, help bring about God’s extraordinary kingdom of love and justice for all in our time.
Janel Rice, pastor, Calvary Moravian Church