The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, “Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” — John 12:12-15 NIV via BibleGateway.com
Over last night’s dinner, our family debriefed Palm Sunday (John 12:12-19 & Matthew 21:1-11) and began considering the Holy Week journey through the lens of Christine Sine’s Lenten Guide 2009. As I envisioned a neighborhood Palm Sunday procession with my family (going to demo this year & do it next year), I also reflected upon how such an event would be received on the various campuses with which I touch base.* Anyone organize, participate, or see something of this sort on their campus?
So how did the Son of Man/Son of God enter Jerusalem and resist following the fickle crowds and cultural expectations which pressed upon Him? As in the first temptation, the last temptation was faced by embracing His primary call and identity in relationship to God the Father. We too find our primary identity in our countercultural, new creation call from the God the Father and NOT from the voices by which we’re surrounded. Easier to say than to live out. That is why we have the Word, the Spirit, the gift of the mind/logic, and the people of God. The people of God, i.e., the Body of Christ, is not only our local worshipping community which provides mentoring and accountability, but also includes the testimonies and practices of the people of God who have come before us. What practices, texts, and prayers do you focus upon during Holy Week? In what ways do you find them giving you direction and encouragement in the mundane (of life, family, and/or higher education)?
*Hold me accountable on this one. For more on the procession, see page 38 in the PDF file (marked as p.34 in the document).
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!