"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Holy Week Day 1 - Sunday

“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your King comes to you, righteous and having salvation,
Gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)

  So, here we are. The final week. Forty days ago, I began a journey through the season of Lent for the purpose of drawing closer to Christ. To God. To myself. The trip did not take the directions I anticipated, not that I had major expectations, but I did not expect some of the major decisions I have made nor did I expect a lot of the changes in my attitude that have occurred (all for the better). And, I did not expect to be able to cover this many days of writing and sharing with whoever may be reading these. I hope and pray that maybe something I have shared has touched your heart, made you laugh or at least made you think about your own relationship with Christ. This time next week, the final victorious entry will be written. Maybe, after that I will keep doing some writing like this for my cyber-world friends….that would depend on what you want. So, let me know.

  Anyway, back to matters at hand today. The prophet Zechariah told us that the King, the Messiah, the Promised One would come into Jerusalem riding on a donkey. In that day, kings always rode in some type of wheeled vehicle, but this King came in the humblest form possible….on a donkey. Jesus had spent Saturday night in Bethany with his dear friends Lazarus, Mary and Martha, as he would be spending the nights during this coming week. His disciples had been given instructions to go find the donkey and all was set for Sunday’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The King is finally arriving.

  From Bethany, Jesus would have ridden over the Mount of Olives where He would have a fantastic view of Jerusalem and the gleaming gold of the Temple. Crossing over the Kidron Valley on the Xystus Bridge, Jesus would enter the city through the Golden Gate (Susa Gate) which leads into the city directly at the Temple. We know from the Scriptures that crowds, hundreds and hundreds of people, lined the road waving the palm fronds expected for royalty and shouting out, “Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”  Jesus was riding into Jerusalem both as a King, as royalty, as well as proclaiming his humanity and humility by riding on a donkey. No doubt, many people were honestly shouting in joy and anticipation of the coming Messiah; others merely got caught up in the excitement.

  How about us? Do we talk about God-things, wear a cross around our neck, stick a fish on our bumper or tell folks to “have a blessed day” because we really mean to celebrate our Lord? Or, because it is a ‘cool’ thing to do? I see teenagers and young adults every day with huge crosses and rosaries around their necks, but some of them do not exhibit the behavior behind the symbols they are wearing. Am I judging them? Nope, just commenting that their behavior and/or language are not appropriate according to the Scriptures, as I understand them. That’s one reason you won’t find a fish on my car bumper. I may not always exhibit a Godly attitude in driving when someone cuts me off or rides my bumper.

  Are we coming into Holy Week crying out “Hosanna” because we believe in the One who comes in the name of the LORD….or because Easter is a cool time of year…and if we only go to church once a year, then Easter is a pretty good time. Kinda like hedging your bets, huh? But, God knows our hearts. He knows our intents. He knows whom we worship.

   Don’t let our praises today turn into the jeers later in the week when the going gets tough. And if we truly follow Christ, things will get tough.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy. Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD!


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