As we gather to worship this Sunday, we will remember Jesus’ final entry into the city of Jerusalem. We’re told that as Jesus rode into the city on a donkey, he was accompanied by a large crowd. They were shouting and singing. They were rejoicing and calling Jesus things like “blessed” and “king.” Only a few days later, Jesus would leave Jerusalem in disgrace, carrying a cross. The soldiers who walked with him led him to his execution.
The season of Lent ends as Holy Week begins. For the last forty days we have followed Jesus on his journey toward Jerusalem. We’ve known all along that he was journeying toward his death on a cross. Jesus’ story is a human story and, like each of our own, at times it has felt like a sad story. Along the way, though, we’ve tried to remember that we are always “Reaching Toward Easter.” We’ve never been without hope.
Palm Sunday might be the clearest picture of that hope. The crowd was cheering, everyone was smiling, the sun was shining (at least in my imagination). There is no doubt that Jesus will bring peace and salvation to the people of Jerusalem. But we know that the deepest darkness is still to come. The journey toward Easter is not over yet.
I hope you’ll join us over the next several days as we remember and celebrate both the deepest lows and the highest highs of Jesus’ story. Holy Week begins with a Palm Sunday service this weekend. We will gather again later in the week for two more worship services on Maundy Thursday (7pm) and Good Friday (12:30pm). On Easter Sunday (30 March) we’ll gather to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord, and this journey will have reached its end.
When we get there, though, we might find that a new journey is about to begin.
This is a story that’s worth hearing again. I hope you’ll join us for the celebration.