April 5, 2009

Palm Sunday

I remember growing up and going to church on Palm Sunday and never really thinking much about it other than maybe getting a palm tree leaf and knowing that it was the Sunday before Easter.

We are told of a large crowd of people that had gathered to welcome and celebrate Jesus as he entered Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. This group was laying down their cloaks, waving palm branches and shouting out of excitement and anticipation. The crowd had gathered to celebrate a man they were ready to make their king and believed could set them free from the occupying forces of Rome and in a matter of days had changed their feelings and shouts toward him as he was sentenced to die. When I stop to think about the event that Palm Sunday symbolizes I quickly realize that this change in attitude toward Jesus can be a daily struggle for you and I.

The crowd was trying to make Jesus something he wasn't, they were trying to change who he was and what he stood for. When they realized they didn't like the things he had to say or the ways he challenged them to live in a different, better way they decided they would rather have nothing to do with him.

I can't help but wonder if we get all excited about Jesus when his words support our point of view or don't support those of someone else and we are quick to point that out to them BUT IN THE SAME DAY decide that his words don't fit into what we think would be best or what we deserve and so we would rather have nothing to do with him. Our fickle, selfish attitudes are no different than that of the crowd that shouted Hosanna! one day and Crucify! the next.

Palm Sunday reminds me that I need to celebrate who and what Christ is and quit making him something he's not to suit me.