Honestly, I hate palm trees.
As a native Floridian, I know that may sound sacrilegious but I really find them to be ugly, messy trees. They just don’t have the beauty of the willowy drake elm or fine spread of a wide oak tree. However, in Jesus’ time the palm branch symbolized triumph and victory. I get it.
So this week, I’m all about the palms. It’s Palm Sunday tomorrow and a day to remember something special. It was a great day when people cheered Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
Every day I welcome Jesus into my heart and home. I love Him so. I pray, read, study and discuss the Bible with friends. I talk about Jesus grace and love for me. I worship Him.
But, I also know that I don’t live up to my Christian calling. I make mistakes, big mistakes, and I am not the person God has called me to be. It’s not for lack of trying; it is simply the failings of the flesh and the sinful nature of my soul. I don’t want to sin, I just do.
So while I know that I would have almost certainly be in the crowd praising Jesus’ arrival, I wonder if I wouldn’t have also been one to stand at the cross. Would I have denied him three times or would I have carried His cross?
I know what I would hope to do. I know how much I love Jesus. But I also know that God knows all of this and loves me just the same. Grace, grace, God’s grace – grace that is greater than my sin.
In my heart, I’m waving my palm branch! Hosanna!
Retailers have discovered the benefits of having a Christmas in July marketing promotion so count me as pleased when the Dean of our Cathedral decided to study Palm Sunday in September. What a great idea.
I love Palm Sunday where we remember Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It allows us to forget, for a moment, that this joy leads to sorrow. But, and pardon the expression, it is also the ultimate comeback story.
This particular Sunday in the church calendar sometimes seems like a warmup for Easter. Palm Sunday is an important day. It is shared in all four gospels but it is also significant for the mere fact that Jesus allows people to recognize His fulfillment of prophecy.
Sadly, these same people will be calling for His crucifixion in a few short days. It all went very wrong but in the end it was so right…for us.
What a sacrifice. What a King.
Hosannah in September and forever!
As a real estate agent, I am often asked by my clients for a 100% guarantee that a sale is going to occur once we have gone to contract. I love my clients and I love closings, but I can’t guarantee a perfect closing.
In this life, we have too many variables to guarantee much of anything. Love can’t be guaranteed, happiness can’t be guaranteed, jobs can’t be guaranteed and anything worth having is probably going to take hard work and effort.
But there is ONE thing I can 100% guarantee.
Jesus loves you!
As Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the joy-filled shouts, cheers and waiving of palms…He knew His future. But he rode right into the bitterness of those who would seek to bring Him to death. He rode in majesty. He rode for you and for me.
Ride on, ride on, in majesty!
In lowly pomp ride on to die.
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain.
Then take, 0 Christ, Thy power and reign.
I love the late medieval and Renaissance paintings depicting the life of Christ. But my favorites are always the paintings that show the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms.
These depictions are the Christmas cards that I save and frame or hang on my inspiration board. The way Mary holds her precious child and relishes the moment is forever captured by an artist who is inspired to depict this significant time in history.
In the original church, art was used to teach people about Jesus who were unable to read. In essence, art was like a history book that shared Christ’s life on earth. What a moving and lovely way to learn about Jesus. Paintings draw us into the subject matter and allow us, for a moment, to think about Jesus in a way that words cannot accomplish. The paintings reach to the very core of a person who studies the painter’s canvas. Some works of art are too beautiful for words.
I know this may seem an odd post for the Saturday before Palm Sunday but these lovely cards that I look at daily remind me of a happy time. Even knowing the end at the beginning we can appreciate the precious moments of celebration and glory. And so it goes with Palm Sunday.
We sing each Christmas “O Come Let Us Adore Him” and that is what happened that special Palm Sunday as people came to herald the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem. Almost thirty-three years after His birth, we get one more happy moment of His earthly life to celebrate the Son of God.
O come all ye faithful, come let us adore him…
“O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore him
O come let us adore Him
Christ the Lord”
My tea is nearly ready and the sun has left the sky.
It’s time to take the window to see Leerie going by;
For every night at teatime and before you take your seat,
With lantern and with ladder he comes posting up the street.
Now Tom would be a driver and Maria go to sea,
And my papa’s a banker and as rich as he can be;
But I, when I am stronger and can choose what I’m to do,
O Leerie, I’ll go round at night and light the lamps with you!
For we are very lucky, with a lamp before the door,
And Leerie stops to light it as he lights so many more;
And oh! before you hurry by with ladder and with light;
O Leerie, see a little child and nod to him to-night!
Robert Louis Stevenson
I love this poem on so many levels. It is thought that Stevenson was blatantly autobiographical in this poem as he was a sickly child with a difficult childhood due to health issues. However, he loved watching the lamps lit at night. Stevenson could set his watch by the lamplighter who would arrive on time to illuminate his home and his life.
In another essay Stevenson described the lamplighter as “a man who punches holes in the darkness” and as you can see by this poem, he longs to do the same.
Jesus could easily and clearly be described as THE man who punches holes in the darkness. Death is the ultimate darkness but the light of Christ has overcome darkness.
And so we begin our journey with Jesus this week. We mentally walk with Jesus as He prepares for His triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. Jesus, the light of the world, was for one glorious day, celebrated. Jesus brought peace, hope, love and joy to a dark and hurting world. Isn’t it amazing how some things never change? He still does this for us today.
We, who love our Lord, are assured of an eternity bathed in light. My soul waits for the Lord…