Palm Sunday begins our celebration of Holy Week, a time of high drama in the life of Jesus and the disciples as they enter Jerusalem and move towards the climactic events of the Last Supper, Gethsemane and Good Friday.
We celebrate Palm Sunday with festive worship, having our children help us in remembering the joyous welcome of Jesus and the waving of Palms. It is during this week that Jesus would say “I am the way, the truth and the life.” We’ll be talking about Jesus as “The “Way” for us.
Through Jesus, we move into a life-giving way that orients our very being towards God. In fact, early Christianity was simply called “The Way,” suggesting that it was not just a matter of beliefs but a way of life, of trusting God, of loving our neighbors as ourselves, and helping God’s kingdom to come on earth as in heaven.
How is Jesus the way of life for you? My hope always is that in being followers of Jesus, we are able to live fully in the embrace of God, knowing each day the grace of God accepts and welcomes us, knowing the peace of God that calms us and the strength of God that propels to do God’s work of mercy and justice in the world.
Sometimes the way of Jesus is just plain threatening to us. Jesus embraces uncomfortable people. He pushes us to be more loving, to take God’s message of grace and hope into the dark and difficult sides of life. Jesus challenges the way we use and spend our money. It is during Holy Week that Jesus gets in hot water for overturning the tables of the money changers in the temple. The Jesus way is not necessarily and easy way, but it does lead to life — a life in God that promises all that we need and deeply yearn for.
Sunday, we worship the God who loves festive celebration and helps us to see Christ as Lord of our lives as we come to shout “Hosanna! Blessed is the One who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Rev. Dr. Dave Summers