last year i helped my mother-in-law plan a prayer walk for maundy thursday that was jesus’ last week, but through the eyes of different people who were there. I really enjoyed creating the entire event, and this morning at church some of it started to come back to me… but this time instead of thinking “how will this help people understand….” i was able to contemplate for my own benefit. i resolved to contemplate a different person from the easter week each day this week building up to easter sunday.
the first person (or group of people, really) that got my attention was a person in the crowd greeting jesus as he came into town. year after year in palm sunday we wave the branches and celebrate the little kids, but i still think we miss the atmosphere. it couldn’t have become clearer to me as i heard the narrator at church this morning read “hosanna! savior” but sounded as if he was reading the ingredients to chicken kiev. this isn’t uncommon in bible-reading world. but i think it reaches its height of missing-the-point when the scripture is telling about a parade.
i got to thinking about how the U of F just won the national title and there are signs EVERYWHERE in town. big parade to welcome them home. or the way upper lined the streets when the boys left town for columbus. homecoming: parade, cheers, shouting… i don’t think i’m too out of line to assume that a group of people who are welcoming the one who will rescue them would be slightly more enthusaistic and passionate with their vocal inflection than those celebrating a yearly ritual of chicken bbq and pretty girls on a hay wagon.
so as i reflect what this event would have been like (or was like, perhaps more accurately) for Joe Schmoe (or Yosef Schmotzky), i can’t help but gravitating toward the hope that would be present in the air. granted, they thought jesus was going to save them largely in a political way rather than in a spiritual sense, but nonetheless the hopes are up that this guy is the real deal and soon the weight will be lifted. of course there is the lingering doubt, too, when you see the guy on a colt: “this guy is going to bring our people out of this?”
but i think more strongly is the feeling of “this guy has got be the one. he has too. i can’t do this any longer…”
we all know what’s coming this week. that crowd disapates. the discipes scatter. but easter teaches us that jesus gives good reason for hope. and the way he goes about doing His work might not seem to fit expectations and life’s not always a parade, but there’s a reason that we’re drawn to the side of the road and that’s because, in the words of a great songwriter, we all know that “i need something broken fixed inside of me.”