THIS SERIES: SEASON OF NEW BEGINNINGS
Ready for the Easter weekend?
I am struck by three responses to Jesus riding into Jerusalem:
Although they misunderstood the nature of His mission, many saw in Jesus the promised Messiah and Davidic King, and shouted their praise. This was no orchestrated response with a choir, stirring music, an official reception, and everyone in their best clothes. This was the spontaneous response to the ‘One coming in the Name of the Lord’, by ordinary people, both adults and children: raucous, noisy, disorganised. And Jesus made it clear that such praise was acceptable: for the stones would cry out if the people were silent. (Now that would have been worth seeing!)
Others were offended, tut-tutting at the sight. Observers not participants, wanting to monitor, comment and control, but unwilling to get involved. They thought they knew the Scriptures, but were unwilling to honour the One the Scriptures talked about. And when Jesus confounded their religious ideas, they were unable to take a step back and reconsider, and so earned His censure.
I am reminded of another journey into Jerusalem: when King David brought the Ark (which represented the presence of God) back to his city. His celebrations were equally expansive, and his onlooker, Michal, equally critical [2 Samuel 6: 12-23].
And the third group were the merchants in the temple courts, for whom it was business as usual; too busy to take note of the Presence of God in their midst, too busy to stop and wonder, too busy to bow down in worship.
Let’s not be too busy, too aloof, too dignified, or too religious to extravagantly celebrate the Presence of the Lord in our midst this Easter.
And some songs to stir up worship...
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace
this Easter time and throughout the coming weeks...
[Photo credits: Jacob Bentzinger (waving branch) @ Unsplash, with thanks]
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