Palm Sunday is possibly my favorite Sunday on the calendar. It’s the day when we celebrate Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem at the beginning of Holy Week. It’s the day when Jerusalem turned out to hail with great exuberance Jesus’ arrival. Everyone was shouting “Hosanna in the highest!” (rejoice, hail to the Savior, celebrate, honor & revere), throwing down coats. cloaks and palm leaves on the road Jesus was traveling. Boatloads of celebration, excitement, anticipation and eager jubilation were the order of the day when Jesus came into Jerusalem. These are some possibilities that were going on that day:
some people thought Jesus would set the Jews free from Roman oppression
some people thought Jesus would upend the religious leaders who preyed on their already overcome countrymen
some people thought that Jesus would do His cool miracle stuff with free food, healings and cool special effects
It seems to me that everyone on Palm Sunday isn’t that much different than many of us today who expect Jesus to conform to our narrow needs & viewpoints. Nevertheless, Jesus knew that despite this great outpouring of celebration & honor that human depravity would murder Him with barbaric savagery in a few short days.
Palm Sunday is when we see the greatest contrast between our ever faithful Jesus & the ever fickle humanity. Hosanna in the highest, our God is consistent, loving and ever faithful!!
I read an interesting selection from Gift From the Seaby Anne Morrow Lindbergh. She had some great insights about relationships and how they can sometimes be like the ocean, with both high & low tides. In her writing, she talks about how we often want to cling to a relationship & how it felt in the past or how we sometimes look forward to the future of a relationship – both engaging activities. If we aren’t careful, however, we can let the past or the future sabotage the now in any relationship, including our walk with God. With that being said, sometimes we don’t like the now because it could be kind of like a “low tide” season, but Mrs Lindbergh helps me to see & appreciate that all the stages in a relationship are valid & valuable – high tide, medium tide & low tide. In my mind, the most important thing of all is to remain faithful to God no matter what’s happening or not in our various human relationships 🙂
Have you ever struggled to pray because of various distractions? This morning happened to be one of those times for me & that can be really frustrating because if you’re like me, you really want to pray! So perhaps I can give you a few ideas that could be helpful:
tell God that you’re having a hard time praying because of the various distractions. I say something like this, “God, I really want to pray right now, but I’m having a hard time because I find myself to be distracted with all kinds of things, some things important & some things not so much.”
sometimes I will write down what those distractions are – maybe making a to-do list, or briefly writing out the various things about which I’m concerned
take a pause and listen / wait – often after I do the first 2 things above, it gets easier for me to pray, listen and to be more present with God than the various distractions
don’t get way frustrated with yourself – commit to have some prayer time in your life everyday so that on those few days that seem to filled with distractions, you can be certain that there will also be some totally amazing times with God that will be nothing short of glorious – all realtionships can have some ups & downs
sometimes it helps me to review a verse or passage from the Bible that has seemed to really capture my attention & thoughts – in these times, I give myself to exploring this verse or passage with God & I find these times to be particularly rich with God’s presence
As I was helping a friend yesterday, she really encouraged me with a few things that could also be helpful to you, particularly if you’re in a rough season. One of the 1st things she said to me asked me about was the beautiful day that we were having – this immediately adjusted my focus because I had been stressed out about a few things. Because she asked me this question, I had to shift my focus away from my frustrations & answer her question to me. This was a great interruption that helped me to immediately get some better focus. Additionally, even though we were in a potentially dangerous situation, she was super calm, reassuring & stable. Frankly, I don’t think she knew that I was upset or rattled. Nevertheless, she was very soothing & seemed to diffuse some of my anxities. Finally, as I walked away from her she was graceful & encouraged me to have a great evening.
I don’t think that this lady has any idea that God used her to help settle my nerves, but its interesting how just some small exchanges with various people can make big differences in our outlooks & behaviors. Here are a few concluding happy thoughts:
look around for some good things – God always has something good to find when we look for it
it seems to me that when you encourage & say nice things to others that you will invariably be blessed as well
look up – David in Psalms always encouraged himself with the directive to put his trust in God, Who is indeed trustworthy :)n