Palm Sunday March 29, 2015
With one week to go before Easter, I suspect you already have some plans in place. Maybe you already know for what time you’ll need to set your alarm in order to make it to sunrise service . . . or that you will not be going to sleep at all on Saturday night because you’ll be playing the trombone or the clarinet in the Easter band . . . or that you’ll be having eleven people to dinner at your house and have ordered a ham, shopped for carrot-cake ingredients, and decided which tablecloth and napkins you’ll use . . . or that there will be dyed eggs to hunt down, round up, and collect in baskets.
Chances are you have already been quite deliberate in preparing for the special day. After all, you can’t just throw these things together at the last minute if you want them to leave an impression, can you?
Jesus was purposeful in arranging details for the demonstration we would come to call Palm Sunday. He designed the effect he wanted to evoke. He thought ahead and reserved an economy-model colt (not a showy warhorse). He set it all up, premeditated. He put things in motion when he sent two disciples to fetch his ride.
Jesus was profoundly deliberate, wanting to make a provocative statement. He meant to deliver the message that his God-branded leadership was very different in nature from the leadership of others with power—warriors, kings, and politicians. He meant to leave an indelible impression as he kicked off what would become a turning point in all of history.
Be deliberate through this Holy Week, not only when it comes to the details of getting ready for Easter, but in contemplating the reasons Jesus both orchestrated and submitted to the events that make Easter even possible.
Chris Johnson, pastor, Fry’s Valley Moravian Church, New Philadelphia, Ohio