Rev. Daniel Eggold
Mar 30, 2020
John 12:12–19; Isaiah 50:4–9a; Psalm 118:19–29; Philippians 2:5–11; Matthew 27:11–66
Annually the church the world over traces Jesus’ “triumphal entry” into the city of Jerusalem. A donkey and colt symbolize Jesus’ rule, humble and lowly. Nothing is shaped as expected, yet everything is as needed. To enter the scene, we’ll use many senses.
Listen! The braying of humble animals mixes sweetly with boisterous shouts of praise: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” (Matthew 21:9).
Smell! People young and old, doves and goats, spices and spring blooms. The crowd is filled with the scents of fishing nets and barns, of vineyards and hostels.
Look around! See colorful cloaks and branches spread on the ground, creating a pathway for the donkey and its rider. See children hoisted above their elders, each straining to catch sight of Jesus, on whom all their hopes are pinned for a better life and a lovelier world.
During Holy Week, we are invited to enter into the story with senses newly awakened. As you listen to the gospel Sunday, what do you hear that you’ve never heard before? What parts of the narrative come to life that in earlier years you may have missed? Can you imagine yourself in the crowd that surrounded Jesus?
Are you asking anything of the people beside you? Do you know the dreams of freedom dear to them? Have you shared your hopes for a better world rooted in Jesus’ way of humility? Are you willing to risk making something of a scene, in ways that might attract some attention, prompting neighbors to echo the question in Jerusalem so long ago when “the whole city was in turmoil, asking, ‘Who is this?’” (Matthew 21:10).Then, in words and actions may we all respond that the one at our center is “the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee” (Matthew 11:11).
Almighty and everlasting God, You sent Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh and to suffer death upon the cross. Mercifully grant that we may follow the example of His great humility and patience and be made partakers of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.