As word spread quickly that Jesus was coming to town, excitement grew. An almost electrically charged anticipation built as people prepared to welcome the Rabbi who they wanted to claim as King. They created a path in his honor, and gathered garments and palm branches to adorn his entry. They are claiming Jesus Christ as King. As authority. As the One they desire to live their lives for, from, and under.
And in the corner of this picture, we see many of us, setting our palm branches somewhere else.
I think the most popular place to put our palm branches may be our clocks. Our time is precious, and belongs to us. Or maybe our planners. The dates in our notebooks filled with inked in commitments, events, and television shows. Perhaps our palm branches rest comfortably under our wallets. Our financial resources, and the desire for them to grow – sometimes even out of a misguided notion that rightness with God will lead to monetary and material gain. It could even be that our palm branches are directly underneath our own feet. Welcoming ourselves as the ultimate authority and measure of the daily choices we make. Each of us may have something different we are tempted to set our palm branches before.
Today we are reminded that we live in a world FULL of opportunities to commit ourselves to. Places to go. People to serve. Cultural “norms” that aren’t thought about much at all.
Today we are challenged to pay attention where our palm branches have been resting. What have we been welcoming into our lives in the way we should be welcoming Christ? What have we been submitting to as an authority? What are our lives oriented around?
May God be with us, as we ask these questions of ourselves…and also of the families many of us are raising/building. What better week to allow God to help us move our palm branches into the path of Jesus, than the final week of Lent? We look forward to the week ahead, to the remembering of the crucifixion, and to the celebrating of something much more than “coming back to life”….