While visiting Duluth, Minnesota, last year, I had to take the city bus to get to my destination downtown. I encountered all kinds of people while waiting at the bus stop in this poor, working-class neighbor-hood. . . . One man with a learning disability told me which bus I needed to take for my destination. . . . One man talked to himself, answered his own questions, and paced back and forth but never rode the bus. . . . One youth listened intently to her music flowing out of her earbuds off of her iPhone, oblivious to her surroundings. . . . One man sat next to me speaking on his cell phone to the friend he would meet really soon. . . . One man shuffled by us in his flannel PJ pants, pushing his cart, toting his ZZ Top beard and donning a dirty ball cap.
We all waited for the bus, looking down the street with a tired sadness hovering in the air over the bus stop.
When the #3 bus arrived, we all lined up, swiping the metro cards—except for me. I dropped my three quarters into the slot for my fare. Off we went.
Imagine Jesus taking public transportation to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Would riding into town on public bus have the same impact, like riding into town on a donkey?
The bus buzz of triumphant victory parade faded rather quickly for Jesus by the end of the week, when Jesus’ disciples had abandoned him and tossed him under the bus, for fear of their own lives. Sadness and regret flare up throughout the sharing of this week’s Passion Week readings.
Prayer: Heavenly Comforter, come along beside us as we seek your healing in our lives for the sadness in life that we harbor. Amen.
John Wallace, pastor
First Moravian Church, Dover, Ohio