Sunday, March 29, 2015

Writing to God: Palm Sunday

Mark 11
"Palms and Passion"

My Lenten discipline of Forty Days of Writing to God ends with special prompts for Holy Week.  Today is Palm Sunday, the day we happily wave the palm branches in church and sing Hosanna.  The day that Jesus "triumphantly" rode into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey.  Today we celebrate the victory Jesus is coming to bring - victory over worldly powers; victory over abusive rulers; victory over death.  Today he is the crowd's Messiah.  Too often we forget the power and the importance of the rest of the week.  Some of us skip from here to Maundy Thursday; some to the cross; and if you're like me, after today I'd like to fast forward to next Sunday.  But we will be missing out on a whole lot of what God is doing if we pick and choose the parts of our faith story to pay attention to.  I hope you will journey and struggle with me this week as we carefully move through each day.

Saving God, give me the courage to be wholly attentive to the movement of this week.  Every intricate piece, each grimacing detail.

As the palms wave today, make my song light and free; hopeful and trusting.  Surely something big is going to happen.

As the palms wave today, remind me of the coming of your kingdom.  How the first shall be last.  The lowly, the sick, the suffering.

As the palms wave today, I pray I wave them high for the injustices of the world that Jesus came to abolish.  I pray I wave them for the forgiveness he showed us to accept and to extend.  I pray I wave them for the respect and love he required of each follower to show to each and every living being.

Give me the courage God, to be wholly attentive as I sing Hosanna today, knowing that there is more to your story of salvation and grace than most of us like to acknowledge.  It is more than a simple one-liner.

Give me the courage to watch closely as Jesus sets his gaze toward Jerusalem today, on the back of a humble colt, awkwardly carrying with him the weight of the world.  And too often we think it is only about us.

Give me the courage to be wholly attentive to the significance of this day for us all.

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